Are you keeping your unconscious gender biases in check?

Women lawyers say gender is a big barrier when it comes to networking and career advancement.

Over the past 10 years, women have graduated from law school at the same pace as men. Yet,when it comes to the actual practice of law, the upper echelons of partnership and general counsel ranks thin out for women. Pay disparity is also an issue. A woman in the U.S. earns only 77 cents for each dollar earned by a man in a comparable position. At the rate the wage gap is closing, women will not see equal earning until 2050.

In the recent Corporate Counsel Women of Color Report, “Perspectives of Women of Color Attorneys in Corporate Legal Departments,” respondents cited their gender as being more of a barrier than their race. They cited their gender as a prevalent barrier in the following contexts: exclusion by male colleagues from informal networking events and activities such as golf outings; having male colleagues bypass their legal advice in favor of obtaining a male colleague’s second opinion; and mostly, after giving birth to a child.

Laurie Robinson

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