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Women and the Law NewsletterThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law

April 2014, vol. 19, no. 5

The Good Girls Revolt

In 1970, 46 female Newsweek employees sued for sex discrimination. It was a bold move for a group of “good girls” who were brought up to be polite, diligent, and deferential. But the feminist movement had opened their eyes to the injustices happening in their own workplace, so they fought back. And they WON!

A crowd of over 200 gathered to hear Lynn Povich, one of those 46 women and author of The Good Girls Revolt, tell her story. She was joined by Jesse Ellison, a recent Newsweek writer who, along with her female colleagues, realized that even in 2010 men were getting better writing assignments, higher salaries, and more promotions. Jesse and her female coworkers banded together to co-author a Newsweek article that questioned how much had actually changed for working women in the 40 years since that 1970 victory.

Povich and Ellison talked with the lively crowd about the need for women to speak up, join together, and fight for change in their workplaces and the wider world. See their video message for working women at

CALL OUT QUOTE: “Women today have a harder fight. But it is possible to make change within the system.” –Lynn Povich

Join the revolt. Attend Women Employed’s largest event of the year, The Working Lunch. Network with 1,000 of Chicago’s business, community, education, and political leaders at Women Employed’s signature gala event. We’ll strengthen partnerships, celebrate milestones, and renew our commitment to expanding opportunities for working women. It’s our biggest event of the year—we hope to see you there! Visit for more information and to purchase tickets. ■


Mary Kay Devine is a Chicago-based feminist and mother of four.  Mary Kay’s day job is the Director of Community Initiatives at Women Employed, a nonprofit that mobilizes people and organizations to expand educational and employment opportunities for America’s working women. Founded in 1973, WE has a 40-year track record of opening doors, breaking barriers, and creating fairer workplaces for women. For more information, visit

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