Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Businessweek
Game Changer

How to Prove That LGBT Discrimination Is Really Sex Bias

Chai Feldblum is Washington’s strongest champion for a particular interpretation of worker protections.
relates to How to Prove That LGBT Discrimination Is Really Sex Bias

Illustration: Sam Kerr

Growing up as an Orthodox Jew, Chai Feldblum dreamed of becoming America’s first famed female Talmudic scholar. After her mother was killed in a car accident when Feldblum was 15, she lost faith in the concept of God, but the Jewish idea of tikkun olam—taking action to repair the world—remained.

“What changed when I became secular is I shifted to the vehicle of law,” says Feldblum, who went on to lobby on Capitol Hill, attend law school, and teach at Georgetown University before being tapped by President Obama in 2009 to serve on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.