Submitted by KimberlyRice
After spending nearly two decades in law firms, I have witnessed and experienced enough discrimination to know from the front row the many challenges women lawyers face in law firms today.
Still a Way to Go
According to a 2012 National Association for Law Placement (NALP) survey on the demographics of equity, we should not be surprised to learn that among equity partners, about 85% are men, 15% are women, and fewer than 5% are racial/ethnic minorities. (The minority figures include both men and women, so the three figures add to more than 100%.)
In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” she states that women are hindered by internal barriers erected by ourselves, as well as society. “We hold ourselves back in ways big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in,” she says, pointing out that women tend to internalize lifelong negative messages that say it is wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men. “We lower our expectations of what we can achieve,” she says. “We compromise our career goals … Compared to our male colleagues, fewer of us aspire to senior positions.”
Attitude Is Everything