Analysis for Equality

August 26, 2014
Rosalind Black
Room with computer monitors and keyboard
Photo credit: Zohra Ansari-Thomas

Many recent Oberlin graduates flock to Washington, D.C., hoping to find work creating political and social change. Among them is Zohra Ansari-Thomas ’14, an environmental studies and economics major, who started working at the law firm Littler Mendelson in late July.

At a firm specializing in employment and labor law, Ansari-Thomas helps prepare affirmative action plans for Littler Mendelson’s clients, enabling them to offer equal employment opportunities for women, minorities, people with disabilities, and veterans; and preventing companies from discriminating against employees or applicants. In order to create these plans, Ansari-Thomas cross-checks the client’s workforce data, and pairs that with employee information, census codes, and other data.

“My favorite thing about working as a data analyst is trying to figure out certain puzzles to make each end of the data match up, and also getting to collaborate so closely with such hard-working people,” Ansari-Thomas says.

Ansari-Thomas discovered her interest in economic and policy-based research while working with supportive and eye-opening professors. Associate Professor of Politics Michael Parkin introduced her to social science research, and Professor of Economics Hirschel Kasper pointed her toward studying labor economics. “I'm very thankful for all the help I received from these professors,” she says.

Working at Littler Mendelson, Ansari-Thomas has the opportunity to broaden her knowledge of labor law and policy while developing her quantitative analysis abilities. She plans to use the skills she has gained to pursue graduate school and a career in economics- and policy-based research.

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