Ginsburg’s work for the advancement of women in the workforce cannot be understated. She has often referenced her own personal experiences as a reason for her acute sensitivity to what women had to go through.
At Harvard Law, she was often asked to justify why she was taking a spot that could otherwise belong to a man. Despite a stellar performance in law school, no one would hire her. One of her professors had to intervene and plead with a judge to take her on as a clerk, when he refused to hire a woman. This experience deepened her empathy and informed her work on gender equality.
At Rutgers Law School, she joined an equal pay campaign when she found out she was earning less than her male colleagues. In 1972, she launched the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project to fight for the removal of institutionalized bias, coded into the law. In 1996, she authored the majority decision in United States v. VMI, when a group of women sued the elite military college for its male-only admission policy.
The ruling set a precedent to strike down any law that, in her written opinion, “denies to women, simply because they are women, full citizenship stature — equal opportunity to aspire, achieve, participate in and contribute to society.”