Diversity Week Kickoff: A Conversation with Lilly Ledbetter
Lilly Ledbetter worked at a Goodyear tire plant in Alabama for more than 20 years, becoming the first woman to be promoted to supervisor. When she learned she was being paid less than her male counterparts, she turned to the courts for justice but the Supreme Court denied her claim in 2007. Today, she is a tireless advocate for fair pay. For 10 years, Lilly Ledbetter fought to close the gap between women’s and men’s wages, sparring with the Supreme Court and lobbying Capitol Hill in a historic discrimination case against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
Ledbetter won a jury verdict of more than $3 million after having filed a gender pay discrimination suit in federal court, but the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the lower court’s ruling. Despite her defeat, Ledbetter continued her fight until the Supreme Court decision was nullified. On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed into law the first new law of his administration, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Ledbetter will never receive restitution from Goodyear, but she said, "I'll be happy if the last thing they say about me after I die is that I made a difference."
Thank you to the 2013 Diversity Week sponsors including FIU's Women's Studies.