What We Do
Gender Justice addresses the causes and consequences of gender inequality, both locally and nationally. We pursue this mission through three interconnected program areas:
- impact litigation
- policy work
- public education and training
In each program area, we seek to highlight the central role of cognitive bias - the subtle but pervasive ways that stereotypes affect our perceptions, decision, and preferences - as a cause of inequality. Likewise, in each program area, we seek to counteract the most harmful consequences of inequality, by working to dismantle the gender-based barriers that keep people from full participation in our economy and our society.
While we believe gender inequality is detrimental for everyone, we focus particularly on the needs of those individuals - such as low-income and immigrant workers - who have traditionally had difficulty accessing justice.
Who We Are: Founders Lisa Stratton and Jill Gaulding
Early in her career, Lisa focused on women’s human rights internationally, studying law and gaining Spanish proficiency in Costa Rica and working for Americas Watch in San Salvador, El Salvador. She began her litigation career at the law firm Sprenger & Lang, which represented the women from the Minnesota Iron Range who sued Eveleth Mines for sex discrimination and whose story later inspired the movie “North Country.”
As a practicing attorney, Lisa has had noteworthy successes in sex discrimination cases involving hostility toward women in blue-collar workplaces, such as paper mills and beet processing plants. As director of the Workers’ Rights Clinic and member of the University of Minnesota Law School faculty, she developed an expertise in the special problems facing immigrant women at work.
Jill’s background lies in both law and cognitive science (that is, the study of how brains work) and she brings both topics together in her work on gender discrimination. As a Bundeskanzler Scholar in Germany, she studied European and German approaches to the work-family conflict, and in particular, the way specific German leave policies tended to undermine equality by reinforcing gender stereotypes.
Later, as a law faculty member at the University of Iowa, Jill developed courses on global feminist strategy and led protests against the misogynistic “Pink Locker Room” tradition. As a practicing lawyer, she has worked to modernize legal doctrine to better reflect what we’ve learned from cognitive science about why discrimination happens and how we can stop it.