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.