In the New York Times, Melena Ryzik reports that Nikki Columbus, an experienced curator and art editor, has filed a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights against MoMA PS1, which Columbus says withdrew her job offer after learning that she was pregnant. As Ryzik writes, Columbus was offered the job of curator of performance at PS1 in August 2017. But after mentioning to PS1 that she had just had a baby, the offer was rescinded a few weeks later. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The #MeToo movement inspired [Columbus] to take action, she said. “I’m very lucky. I’m privileged, I’m a middle-class white woman, I have a partner with a good job who’s able to support me if the worst happened,” and she couldn’t find work. “I thought, if I’m afraid to speak up, who will speak up?”
“I don’t want this to happen to other women,” she added.
She approached A Better Balance, a nonprofit that lobbies for more work-life equity. Ms. Saylor, the attorney, is on the board; both her firm and the nonprofit took Ms. Columbus’s case.
Still, Ms. Columbus has yet to find a full-time job and remains unsure about her professional future if even the progressive art world seems unwelcoming to working mothers.
“This is the thing about discrimination,” she said. “And coming into this from a privileged position — you don’t think it’s going to happen to you.”
Image: MoMA PS1 in Queens, NY. Photographed by George Etheredge for the New York Times.