21 March 2005
The case of the gorgeous librarian
Goodwin, who says that her appearance has kept her from advancing in the Harvard library system in 2001, she claims, her supervisor told her she was considered "merely ... a pretty girl who wore sexy outfits, low cut blouses, and tight pants" asserts that she's lost out on $150,000 in potential earnings and has suffered emotional distress.
Opening statements will be issued tomorrow, assuming no last-minute settlement is reached.
Harvard President Lawrence Summers was not overheard suggesting that beautiful women might be better suited for research work.
Update, 22 March, 10 am: A posting at Sarah's feuilletons, by someone who knows the situation:
I'm not surprised, given my own experiences in the work world. The reality is that she is 40, exceptionally well educated and from my personal experience a fabulous resource at Harvard. That she looks easily 15 years younger, dresses well, not inappropriately, and is of African descent are things that don't mesh well often in the work world's opinions of appropriate behavior for women and minorities. Looking youthful, including being in healthy shape and in good spirits, are often declaimers for promotion of women; until they're then "old" and then they're too old for promotion. I've found the people at Loeb Library to be nothing but kind and helpful to students, so please don't take my sympathy for Desiree as displeasure with the library as a whole. But I recognize that there is a deep antipathy that runs counter to even so-called liberal ideals when a person of color is a good team player.Posted at 8:26 PM to Dyssynergy