Image above: Betty Dukes with Senator Al Franken. The author, Deborah Vagins, to the immediate right, joined by coalition partners.
Over a decade ago, I had the great honor to be part of a team representing Betty Dukes, an employee at Wal-Mart who had received unfair treatment at her job and had decided to do something about it. Betty soon became the face of a large class of women who worked at Wal-Mart and faced similar types of discrimination in the workplace. These women banded together, from all across the country, to take on sex discrimination at one of the world’s largest employers—and through it all, Betty Dukes remained at the forefront fighting for justice. “In this life,” said Betty, “you have to stand up or be trampled.” The ACLU co-authored a brief before the Supreme Court, joined by a large number of civil rights groups, highlighting the gender stereotypes that the women were banding together to challenge.