Former President Suharto of Indonesian once famously dismissed the concern over his country’s corruption by saying: Well you come out here from Washington with these high ideas to tell us….
Assuming that these opinions were the only reason for Hopkins’s failure to make partner, was that denial illegal sex discrimination under Title VII?
Ann Hopkins, a senior manager at the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse, was denied partnership in the firm. A persistent theme in existing partners’ written comments on Hopkins’s candidacy was the belief that Hopkins acted in ways inappropriate for a woman to act. Thus, one partner described her as “macho,” another wrote that she “overcompensated for being a woman,” yet another advised that she take “a course at charm school,” and still others objected to her use of profanity. Also, a partner who tried to help Hopkins through the process told her that to improve her chances, she should walk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear makeup, have her hair styled, and wear jewelry. Assuming that these opinions were the only reason for Hopkins’s failure to make partner, was that denial illegal sex discrimination under Title VII?