In an article today from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the percentage of female partners at law firms rose in 2013. The article as a whole is encouraging, but it does not address income disparity for female attorneys, especially those working in-house.
While I would like to believe we as a society are becoming more enlightened regarding gender equality, there are still pockets of stiff resistance. In my law school graduating class, there were more women than men. Many of these women went on to extremely successful careers at top law firms, the D.A.’s office, U.S Attorney’s office, and at a variety of in-house positions in all kinds of companies, be they financial services companies, consumer goods, entertainment, and media companies to name a few.
Again, many of these tremendously talented female colleagues of mine were compensated as well as, and in some cases better than their male contemporaries, but others (is it a majority?) are quick to note that their pay was anywhere from 10%-30% less than their male counterparts. Bringing this issue to light is concerning for them because if they were to do so, they could become unofficially blackballed in their industry, and it would be extraordinarily difficult for them to find future employment.
While progress has been made, more is needed. Let’s hope in-house catches up soon.
First, it was Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, then Dentons and McKenna Long & Aldridge, and now merger talks between Patton Boggs and Locke Lord have ended.
Read more here U.S. law firms Patton Boggs and Locke Lord call off merger talks
It is virtually impossible not to see some of the humongous bonuses lawfirms are giving associates this year. If you got one, I am very happy for you!
If you didn’t, you may be asking your self why not. If the firm did not give great bonuses, then blame it one the firm, and perhaps it is time to look for a new one. (I know just the guy to help!) If not the firm, the question that may need to be asked, is it you?
I hate these kinds of questions, but inevitably I do come around and ask them. When I delve deep, I understand that it may be me, or more specifically how I am responding to those around me. Part of career success is being able to circumnavigate many different waters, and while I do not believe that all people can be placed in one of four personality type boxes, I have found certain personality types which I am able to get along with better than others.
At a lawfirm, where relationships with partners often dictate day-to-day happiness, and consideration during bonus time, I worked with a variety of partners, and learnt with varying degrees of success how to be most effective when working with them.
If you are fortunate enough to have some downtime during the holiday, maybe it would be worthwhile to give yourself an hour or two to think about the people with whom and for whom you work, what personality characteristics you have observed, and how you can best prepare for your next interaction with them.