Female Lawyers: a Doubtful Advantage

Harvard University presented the results of a study concerning graduates-lawyers. Among other observations of the career of those who came from an elite educational institution, it turned out that women who have made a career in law receive less, make marriages less often, and work more than their male counterparts.

The study, entitled "Men and Women of the Harvard Law School", in which the 1975, 1985, 1995 and 2000 issues were studied, demonstrated how different are the lives of lawyers and professionals of different sexes. The differences were more than enough. Researchers - from the time of job search and employment after the birth of children and ending with the level of satisfaction from the profession, promotion, etc. Despite the fact that the survey covers only graduates of Harvard, it is quite representative for all career lawyers, according to Bloomberg, which published the results.

Not really a progress

"The number of women in the profession has grown very much in recent decades, and women lawyers now hold senior positions in virtually every legal institution in the country, including the US Armed Forces, which has three female judges," the report said. Yes, and in general, optimistic scientists say, the results demonstrate the progress of women: they, according to the results of the survey, are satisfied with what they do, although remuneration of labor causes them censure.

In male lawyers, the opposite is true: they are quite satisfied with the salary, the amount of work and working conditions do not cause special complaints, but what they have to do is not very satisfactory. However, the latter does not prevent them from remaining in leadership positions in companies.

The profession of a lawyer has long ceased to be purely male. However, this hardly indicates that the ladies in law became much more comfortable. Leadership in the team is still less likely to be trusted by women: the percentage of women in leadership positions remains very low, given the extent to which they are fully represented in the profession, even if we consider how much of the fairer sex did not go to the right until after the 1970s.

Most fully women are represented in corporate departments as heads of practice in one of the directions. The woman's chances of becoming the head of a company or a regional representative office are the least likely. Analogous results were also obtained from previous studies. In fact, the average percentage of female partners for large firms has practically not changed in the last 40-50 years. According to a New York Journal study, in 2009 the number of women among lawyer partners was only 18.47%. At the same time, statistics show that, in the 1970s, women accounted for 25% of US law school graduates, in 2009 this figure reached 51%. In other words, the career of the majority of the fairer sex ends at the associate level.

While practically every study of income in any industry demonstrates that the earnings of women are lower than those of men, and the juribusiness is not an exception, it turns out that at the beginning of a career their incomes are approximately the same. Men who are employed usually get $ 115,000 a year, and women - on average $ 85,000, but the difference in figures is not due to gender, but to the place of work: the former are more likely to go to law firms, where the income is higher than in the state sector preferred by the second . The gap grows about 30 years, when many get their families, as a result of which career growth in women slows down or they leave the profession. As a result, for the whole career the difference is about 2 million dollars, leads the statistics chairman of the House of Representatives of the American Bar Association Linda Klein.

Not only money

However, families prevent to build a career not for everyone: children are far from all the fair sex, and many do not have husbands. According to the results of the study, women lawyers marry much less often than their male colleagues marry. Almost a third of the women surveyed have never been married - for comparison, among their male colleagues, the number of never married is only 5%.

With regard to the number of hours of work per week in law firms, it turns out that women not only receive less, but also work more. Especially great difference among the graduates of 2000 - they work for 8 hours more male colleagues a week.

At the same time, women are more focused on the process, rather than on the result: they are attracted to work with law papers by such parties as the solution of intellectual problems, the benefits to society, the high level of responsibility and a number of other factors. However, in addition to the rewards that they receive, the lawyer ladies are dissatisfied with the scope of the work, the working environment and the way they are able to - or rather, fail - to combine work and personal life.

Women-friendly companies

In the US, the problems of women in the profession are being discussed actively. There are even ratings that assess the success of law firms in this direction. A good example is the "50 Best Law Firms for Women list" rating, published annually by the American magazine Working Mother and the consulting company Flex-Time Lawyers. In it, companies are assessed on such parameters as the history of hiring employees, bonuses and compensations, parental leave, flexibility of the schedule, and the availability of programs aimed at keeping women in the company and for their promotion. Last year, the list was headed by Baker & McKenzie.

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