Price Water House vs Hopkins (1989) Sex Discrimination Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


This case analysis is based on the sex discrimination in the workplace by the employer against the women. In addition to this, the case describes how the women suffer from the gender discrimination when there is an opportunity for promotion at the workplace and males are given preference over them. Furthermore, the case is also concerned about which party to support; either the company or the employee has the burden of proof in a sex discrimination case when the employee loses his employment opportunity.

However, it is also indicated that promotion decisions made by the management of the company are usually influenced by the gender stereotyping. The promotion decisions must be made on some legitimate ground instead of making decisions fully on a discriminatory basis.

Problem in the case

The case focuses on the gender discrimination related problems that women face in the workforce when there is an employment promotion opportunity.

Case Analysis

Following are the topics that are covered in the report:

  • Additional information that is required in making the decision regarding the promotion of the Birch to the position of the partner.
  •  Comments on the decision that the court should take on the basis of discussions to date.
  • Recommendations to the MasterMind that helps them to improve the partnership selection techniques and process.


What additional information (if any) do you need/want in order to decide. SHOULD BIRCH HAVE BEEN PROMOTED TO PARTNER?

Additional Information

The additional information that is required in order to decide whether to promote Birch to the position of partner includes:

  • The detail of her five years working performance and experience at the MasterMind Consulting in order to analyze the trends as it would help in determining the consistency in the work of Birch. Furthermore, this is the most important information to decide her promotion to partner position.
  • Other information that is needed for making recommendation for Birch promotion is the nature of relations that she has with other members of the MasterMind Consulting. This information is required in order to analyze her relationship building and maintain skills that are vital to the position of partner as this would also benefit the overall productivity of the company.
  •  Furthermore, information related to some essential skills is also needed in order to decide whether to promote Birch to the position of partner or not. These skills include communication skills, organizing work skills, action planning skills, risk management skills as well as ability to create a motivational working environment. These skills are very crucial for the position of the partner so before deciding Birch’s promotion, evaluation of these skills for Birch needs to be considered.
  •  In addition to this, information regarding her ability to work in the group and her conflict management skills is also needed.
  • Information about Birch’s listening capabilities and adaptability in every situation as well as her creativity in the work is also needed in order to make a decision about the promotion of Birch to the position of partner.

Question 2

Based on your readings and our discussions to date, what do you think the court should decide (and why)?

The court should make the decision in the favor of employee for being a victim of gender discrimination in the workplace. Secondly, as referred to the case the employee has been discriminated by many partners in the company in order to get a promotion to the position of partner. The men in the company haven’t shown their loyalty towards the business ethics of the company and discriminated Hopkins on the basis of gender.

Hopkins is a dedicated, hardworking and talented employee of the company as well as stronger candidate for the position of the partner but she lost the opportunity due the fact that the decision was not made completely on the basis of performance rather it was influenced by the gender discrimination. Additionally, another reason that the court should make a decision in Hopkins’ favor is that it would reduce and avoid the gender discrimination in the future. As, the women in the company have faced a harder time in order to get the higher position of authority; Hopkins is among one of those women who suffered this hard time at work............................

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