All day, every time I think about the new federal cabinet, I grin. It’s a little weird to grin to yourself in the midst of whatever unrelated task you’re working on, but here we are. I was a little afraid that all of the white man editorial hand-wringing about merit (you know who you are, boys) would ruin this for me. But it turns out that there is not a thing in the world that can ruin the fact that none of the women sworn in this morning can even remotely be considered unqualified for their positions. This is the thought, the intentional effort to adjust for structural inequality, that I lamented my own employer’s lack of in my last post.
This is how we help women. Not by promoting people who don’t deserve it, but by recognizing that pretty much any time you go to hire or promote, there is more than one person who is qualified for the job, and choosing between those people is a matter of judgment. Making diversity part of that judgment call is perfectly valid – after all, what use is a decision-making group that contains only one viewpoint?
For me personally, the announcement couldn’t come at a better time, as my week has been a study of both triumph and a recognition of how much further we have to go to achieve equality in the workplace.
First, the important bit: I am a motherfucking BOSS this week. After months of varying between not enough work to do and some really boring work to do, a bunch of high-profile matters have been handed to me by different partners, I am playing legal pundit on the radio tomorrow morning, and my billables for October were actually acceptable. Oh, and I get to go watch a file that I worked on get argued in the Supreme Court next week. I don’t get to sit at the table, because the leave application happened while I was on maternity leave, so another associate took it on, but I’m taking a few vacation days to go see it. And I am hyped!
Yesterday, in the midst of all my being-a-motherfucking-BOSS-ing, I accidentally discovered that my billable rate was apparently only increased for inflation last year, not for my call year. Effectively, after two maternity leaves I am now a 2011 call being billed out as a 2012 call and paid as a 2013 call. No one had mentioned this to me, of course, and it’s possible that it is an error. But I don’t really think that it is, and as I need to start thinking about partnership, it’s a bit… disconcerting.
But this week is a glorious week, and no one will take it from me. I am a boss and people are starting to remember it. Women are being allowed to be bosses in Ottawa, and we won’t let anyone forget it.
Because it’s 2015, motherfuckers!