Getting Real: A 'Video Podcast' Series: An Interview with Tsedale Melaku

Hosted by Foley Hoag partner Veronica Renzi to generate dialogue among and build community with women lawyers

These days, we are looking at this widespread remote working scenario as an opportunity to enhance business relationships by reexamining professional boundaries and relying on means such as video conferences and phone calls. This "video podcast" series consists of discussions with female and male attorneys about issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope you find them interesting and helpful and we are grateful to all the lawyers who made time to talk with us. 

Guest: Tsedale Melaku, Sociologist, Author

In today’s episode, Veronica gets real with Tsedale Melaku, sociologist and author of the book You Don’t Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism, and author of the article, “Why Women and People of Color in Law Still Hear ‘You don’t Look Like a Lawyer.’” Tsedale discusses with Veronica race and gender and the underrepresentation of Black women and people of color in law firms. Tsedale explains the impact of the invisible labor clause and the inclusion tax on the experiences of Black women lawyers. She specifically shares how women, people of color, and women of color are required to perform added, invisible uncompensated labor to navigate white institutional spaces and are forced to adhere to appearance politics to manage perceptions. In particular, Tsedale focuses on how the pandemic will cause increased attrition of women, people of color, and women of color at law firms and reminds marginalized groups that they are not alone.

View Veronica's interview with Tom Spiggle here.