Taxation

Ca. Tax Lawyer MAY 2020, VOLUME 29, NUMBER 1

Reports from the 2019 Annual Meeting of the California Tax Bar and California Tax Policy Conference

TOAST TO WOMEN IN TAX

Betty Williams, moderator for the panel, kicked off the Toast to Women in Tax. This is the 4th year the Toast has been held at the Annual Meeting of the California Tax Bar and Tax Policy Conference. We were fortunate to be sponsored by two amazing firms: Greenburg Traurig and Morgan Lewis.

First question to the panel: Any distinguishing events in your career, positive or negative, that impacted your experience if gender played a role.

Kristen Kane: I am the Chief Counsel for Office of Tax Appeals. I’d like to talk about gender bias. There is a presumption of authority and the presumption of correctness that goes with unconscious bias. We link "leader" and "man" and "lawyer" and "man" in our heads. Google the image "attorney." Of the first 85, 20 were women and 65 were men. This does not reflect our industry. It does reflect the perspective. In my job experience, I was asked to go for a 6th interview. I asked why I was not progressing. I was told that they like you, but are not sure that you have the command to run a 200 million dollar program for the governor’s office. The questions that I had been asked during the interview process did not relate to that. I went into the next interview with command. I felt that I was high jacking the interview, but that was the last interview before I got hired. Reminds me of the saying about Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers. "She had to do everything that he did but backwards and in high heels."

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