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It’s been 15 years since Nancy O’Mara Ezold sued a large Philadelphia law firm for failing to promote her to partner. Although an appellate decision overturned her federal court victory, the message was clear: Women would do battle in courts of law if they perceived they were passed over for less-able male counterparts. Now, with a flood of individual gender discrimination cases and class action lawsuits, from brokerage houses to Wal-mart – have women made significant strides towards breaking the ‘glass ceiling’ in the workplace? Tonight at 8 live on WFMZ-TV 69, Christopher Naughton’s Law Journal will present “Promoting Women at Work.” Plaintiffs attorney George Kounoupis of Hahalis & Kounoupis, corporate counsel Anthony Haller of Blank Rome and Deborah Weinstein of The Weinstein Firm will review how the law has addressed gender discrimination on the job. James Knoll Gardner, U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania and Betty Spence, director of the National Association of Female Executives will join the panel . Nancy O’Mara Ezold will relate and update her experiences as one of the very first women attorneys to, at least initially, successfully sue her law firm “Sadly, not a lot has changed,” said Ezold, echoing the 3rd Circuit’s overturning of her trial victory a decade and a half ago. “Today, more women are getting promoted to partner, but [often] it’s not equity partnership. They are getting the name, but not much else.” Have employers made significant changes to promote advancement of women since the term “glass ceiling” was coined in the mid-1980s? Not exactly, according to lawyer life coach Ellen Ostrow of Silver Spring, Md. “It’s hard to believe it’s still going on to this degree,” she said. Fewer promotions, less pay, being passed over for important job assignments – these are just a few of the issues facing women stalled in their upward mobility. For a woman to enhance her situation said Ostrow, “your career always has to be more important than your job.” “We’re going to see many more ‘discrimination against women’ cases in male-dominated industries” added Kounoupis. “These cases demonstrate the full effect of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Obviously, that’s good. But the glass ceiling is still there for women. And, unfortunately, [along] with the expansion of rights, businesses have acclimated well. Just as bacteria adapts to the presence of antibiotics, businesses have gotten cagier at hiding discrimination.” Law Journal broadcasts live for one hour every Monday at 8 p.m. on WFMZ-TV 69. Visit www.LawJournalTV.com for schedules, attorney profiles and to view streaming video of all programs broadcast in the past year. Next week: “The FDA and Big Pharma: Tipping the Balance.”

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