Friday Hoyden quick hit: Linda Brodsky

A piece came across my Twitter feed a few weeks ago about an American doctor who died earlier this year. Rebecca Greenfield wrote “Advice to Jill Abramson from my Mom”, describing the pay discrimination her mother experienced, the retaliation she suffered when she protested, and the enormous personal cost of the years she spent fighting the injustice.

Middle-aged and young woman bent over work at a home table.

Linda and her daughter (via the Linda Brodsky blog)

Dr Linda Brodsky was an American paediatric ear, nose and throat surgeon. In the 90s, having become a tenured professor at SUNY Buffalo, she discovered she was being paid far less than male colleagues, many with less seniority and fewer qualifications. On further investigation she found that the same was true of her pay from her medical employers, and that it applied to other women working in the same institutions. When she attempted to have the disparities addressed she was fired. Dr Brodsky spent years suing her employers, not only on her own behalf, but to help ensure that other women would not be treated the same way. She was aware that the privileges she had put her in the rare position of being able to fight, and thus made it a moral obligation.

Dr Brodsky had her own website with material on both her professional areas of expertise and her fight for equitable pay for women, and here is her obituary in the Buffalo News. The American Medical Women’s Association has set up a memorial fund in her name, to create a scholarship.

Dr Brodsky seated, holding a plaque.

Dr Brodsky with her 2003 NYS Department of Health Quality Award.



Categories: gender & feminism, social justice, work and family

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