Levin College of Law

Coif Distinguished Lecturer to discuss “covering” your true self in the workplace

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Despite an ever-increasing emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, a recent study suggests that three out of four workers – including half of white males – have “covered” their identity in the workplace.

NYU Law Professor Kenji Yoshino, who co-authored the study, will discuss the act of covering – or downplaying one’s authentic self – as UF Law’s Coif Distinguished Visitor. His lecture, “Uncovering Talent: A New Model of Inclusion,” will be Wednesday, Sept. 25 at noon in HOL 180. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Yoshino’s study is the first empirical effort to examine the extent and effects of covering in the workplace, and Yoshino hopes it will lead to new solutions to the problem. Full inclusion in the American workplace remains elusive, said Yoshino, noting that only 3.2 percent of the senior executive positions in the nation’s biggest companies are held by African-Americans, only 14 percent are held by women, and “there is not a single openly gay CEO in the Fortune 500.”

Yoshino will be presenting the full results of the study, which were released this month.

The event is hosted by the University of Florida Chapter of the Order of the Coif, with co-sponsors including the University of Florida Levin College of Law and its Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, and Center on Children and Families.

The Coif Distinguished Visitor Program brings distinguished members of the legal profession to Coif Chapter campuses. UF Law is only one of three campuses in the country to be selected for a Coif Distinguished Visitor lecture this year.

About Kenji Yoshino

Kenji Yoshino is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law. He was educated at Harvard (B.A. 1991), Oxford (M.Sc. 1993 as a Rhodes Scholar), and Yale Law School (J.D. 1996). Prior to his appointment at NYU he was the Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School, and also served as deputy dean there from 2005-2006.

Yoshino’s fields are constitutional law, anti-discrimination law, and law and literature.

Yoshino’s first book, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights, was published in 2006. It won several awards and was assigned as the “first year” book to be read by all incoming students at four colleges. His second book, A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare’s Plays Teach Us About Justice, was published in 2011. His third book, on same-sex marriage, is under contract with Crown, a division of Random House.

Yoshino has published in a range of academic journals, including The Columbia Law Review, The Harvard Law Review, The Stanford Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal. He has also written for more popular forums including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post. He makes regular appearances on various radio and television programs, such as NPR’s The Takeaway and PBS’s Charlie Rose and a variety of shows on MSNBC.

In 2011 he was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers.

Have an opinion on the subject? Check out the latest Graham Center Civil Debate wall question: Are people who conform to mainstream perceptions more successful in the workplace?”

Add your thoughts and join the debate: http://www.civildebatewall.com/

For more information:
Matt Walker, UF Law Communications
352-273-0650 or mlwalker@law.ufl.edu

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Published: September 13th, 2013

Category: News

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