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Lisa Shipley and Crawling Across Broken Glass

More than 50 years after the federal Equal Pay Act was passed, women continue to be discriminated against in the workplace — even as they are being encouraged to “lean in.” Talk to any female employee and they are likely to tell you startling stories of the discrimination they have faced simply because of their gender. Many of them stay silent because they fear that if they speak up they won’t be taken seriously or they will experience repercussions.

Some women however fight back by filing gender-based employment-related discrimination lawsuits in federal court. Yet, only 6% of those lawsuits go to trial. Most are settled out of court for modest sums usually because the women cannot afford the time and money that a trial involves, especially because they are likely to be up against employers with far “deeper pockets” than theirs. Many women also settle to avoid the emotional toll of a trial.

Lisa Shipley however is an example of someone who did fight back, took her case all the way to trial, and won a nearly $1.5 million judgment against her former employer, a global, publicly-traded company, and her former boss.

Lisa tells the story of her high powered career, the events leading up to her lawsuit, the trial and its aftermath in the eye-opening and inspiring book, Crawling Across Broken Glass: How One Woman Fought Gender Discrimination, Beat the Odds and Won. Full of unexpected and dramatic twists, Lisa’s story reads like a legal thriller – except that it really happened!

“I hope that my story will encourage all victims of workplace gender discrimination to stand up for themselves and to understand what to expect if they do. I also hope that my book clearly conveys the challenges that women especially continue to face, decades after legislation was passed to help ensure that employees would be treated fairly in the workplace. Those challenges are even greater for them today now that women are being urged to “lean in.” LISA SHIPLEY

“I read your story in a legal periodical and am compelled to write you this meager thanks. We all (women professionals everywhere) owe you a debt of gratitude that we may never be able to repay. Thank you for you. YOU ROCK!” Female Attorney
I Was There | April 6, 2015

I served on the jury for this trial, and Lisa Shipley provides an accurate and telling description of what transpired in the courtroom.

Lisa fought hard for her workplace rights, and even more for her dignity. She deserved the verdict in her favor, and the jury celebrated her victory as if we ourselves were the winners. Let's hope that decisions like these will speed the journey to an equitable workplace and society.