Ann Hopkins Case Summary

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Ann Hopkins was denied a partnership at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), a prominent professional services networking firm based in the United States, in 1982 (Badaracco, 1). She later sued the company for discriminatory promotion practices due to her loss. While the Supreme Court ruled that Ann Hopkins was indeed discriminated against the promotion, there can be arguments made for and against the view that Ann Hopkins was subject to discrimination during the assessment process. The case can be made that Hopkins was discriminated against due to three key factors during the assessment. These factors, while independently may not necessarily denote discriminatory behavior, can still signify discriminatory conduct based on the context and weight …show more content…

Furthermore, Hopkins was told to “take a course at a charm school” or found lacking in the “congeniality factor” which were dated standards only applied to women in a workplace (Badaracco, 14). When considering that Hopkins was the only woman nominated for partner, it is evident that these comments are derogatory and sexist when evaluating a candidate for a job. Finally, pages of Hopkins’ assessment chose to only comment on her lack of vaguely defined “interpersonal” skills rather than evaluating any of Hopkins’ work, specific skill sets or holistically weighing multiple skills to see if the entirety of her performance was worthy of partnership. In fact, towards the end of the evaluation, an assessor wrote, “If you get around the personality thing, she’s at the top of her list or way above average” (Badaracco, 23). These three factors, linked clearly to discriminatory practices, drastically affected Hopkins’ chances at securing the partnership and, ultimately, led her to file a sex-based discrimination lawsuit against the …show more content…

These methods ought to be set on measuring job-relevant characteristics, collecting objective and quantifiable data on candidates while promoting transparency and accountability in their promotion methods (Rissing, 16). PwC ought to develop a rubric which can have a rating scale and detailed explanations for each metric on the scale which focuses only on the job-relevant characteristics of the candidates in question. For example, rather than a vague comment on interpersonal skills, a rating system can be established to ask how well on a scale of one to ten does a candidate work with their team on a daily basis. Then, each of the job-relevant metrics on the evaluation form could be given a predetermined weight. Consequently, even if a candidate ranked low on interpersonal skills on the form, her expertise in other stations could easily outweigh this weakness and prove her eligibility for partner. Moreover, PwC needs to set more objective criteria to determine who becomes partner within the organization. Rather than solely relying on personal reports and references from a variety of people, it needs to have some established metric which would evenly weigh the hours, success rate and quantifiable performance rate to provide detailed information to assess a candidate. Even if the personal references are heavily

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that ann hopkins was denied a partnership at price waterhouse coopers in 1982 and sued the company for discriminatory promotion practices due to her loss.
  • Analyzes how hopkins' boss, thomas beyer, told her to relax and take charge less often to ensure she would receive a partnership. these comments were derogatory and sexist when evaluating candidates for jobs.
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