March 20, 2019

Gender Bias in the Workplace, with Andie Kramer and Al Harris

Episode 176:

Andie Kramer is a partner at international legal firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP, where she serves as the head of the Financial Products, Trading and Derivatives Group. She is also the founding chair and current co-chair of the firm’s Gender Diversity Committee. She has previously served on the Management Committee and Compensation Committee at McDermott Will & Emery. Outside of her practice, Andie is a nationally recognized advocate for the advancement of women, having helped countless women navigate obvious and subtle gender biases in their careers.

Al Harris was a founding partner of the law firm Ungaretti & Harris, which later merged into the national law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP. All served as managing partner and as a member of the firm’s Executive and Compensation Committees. Al recognizes the barriers that women often are forced to navigate in male-dominated settings. Together with Andie, Al co-authored “Taking Control: Women, Gender Stereotypes, and Impression Management”.

Together, Andie and Al feel strongly that the visible and invisible gender biases in today’s workplace culture can be overcome, and they believe that education and mentorship are the key to doing so. Especially in today’s #MeToo environment, it is more important than ever that organizations be prepared to reflect on their company cultures and bring gender equity to their workplaces.

It is a fact that our modern society is more aware of the prevalence of gender bias and workplace discrimination than ever before. But are we, as leaders, doing all we can to tear down gender barriers and recognize our own biases, whether external or internalized?

Andie Kramer and Al Harris are subject-matter experts with two very different perspectives on gender bias, but they share the same conclusions and beliefs on how to make workplaces be more fair, open, and equitable. Both are legal professionals, but while Andie has had to personally experience gender bias in her career journey, Al has recognized the problem as an outsider looking in. Despite their different viewpoints, they are both dedicated to raising awareness and educating organizations on how to handle these challenging issues.

In this episode, Andie and Al share their own points of view on gender bias and its detrimental effects on workplace health, culture and morale. From obvious and blatant discriminatory statements to more subtle microaggressions, from pay inequities to gender differences in mentorship opportunities, our “enlightened” modern society still struggles with the specter of workplace discrimination.

The ripple effect of leadership is a powerful tool, and Andie and Al believe it can be used to bridge the gender gap in the workplace. But gender bias is a systemic habit that has a way of embedding itself deeply into organizations, and the true challenge comes from doing the necessary self-reflection to break out of the cycle of bias. Listen to the episode, and learn how to recognize and respond to gender bias in the most effective way possible.

Ways to contact Andie Kramer: