September 24, 2020
Governor of California
State Capitol, 1st Floor
Sacramento CA 95814
Dear Governor Newsom:
On behalf of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, we write to you regarding questionable practices within the State Bar of California. It is no secret that being a professional woman in a male-dominated field comes with many challenges. Women often face explicit and implied gender-based discrimination in the workplace and these inequities are often compounded by racism and other forms of bias, making it even harder for women of color to navigate their way to the top. The State Bar is certainly not immune from these forms of discriminatory behaviors.
Over the last few weeks, we have been made aware of an incident involving the hiring process of the Executive Director position for the California State Bar Board of Trustees. The lack of transparency and fairness by the State Bar continues to greatly diminish public trust in an entity whose primary mission is to protect the public, advance the ethical and competent practice of law, and support greater access and inclusion in the legal system.
Representation matters, and diversity and inclusion—including women of color—should be reflected at all levels within the State Bar. When racism and sexism intersect in the workplace, the effect is doubly devastating. This organization has a long history of inappropriate practices and mismanagement, and as such, we request that you immediately review the hiring and management practices at the State Bar of California to ensure equity and inclusion.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.