By Heather Aquino • October 01, 2007•Choosing a Career and Landing a Job
A few weeks ago I attended the Vault Diversity Job Fair in New York City. This job fair was unique because it offered attendance to both minorities and to women. A large amount of law students were in attendance, and I had the opportunity to make observations about the crowd that had turned out for the event. One thing that I could not help but notice was how few individuals seemed to fit into both categories of students that were invited to the event. I couldn’t help but notice the lack of minority women at the event.
After the event I came home and did some research on the subject of minority women in the legal profession. The results were shocking simply because information on the subject was so scant. While I could find a vast array of studies and research done on minorities in law school, as well as women in law school, the subject of minority women in law school seems to have slipped through the cracks. Why was it so difficult to obtain some information on the subject? I was finally able to find a study that was done on the subject titled “Women of Color- Why Are They Finding the Door Instead of the Glass Ceiling”. The title alone caught my attention; women of color employed in law firms were not just having a hard time making advancements in their field, they were actually suffering enough to leave their place of employment all together. The report was shocking. It went on to explain that minority women feel so isolated and stressed on the job, and receive such harsh treatment, that many of them feel they have no other choice but to leave their firm.
While this study provided a great insight into the struggles that many women of color face when they entire into the legal profession, there are many other topics that need to be researched in regards to women minorities in the legal world. I was unable to find one comprehensive study on how women minorities perform in law school, or even the number of women minorities enrolled in each school. It seems that the issues of race and gender are often approached separately, but women minorities face an entirely different plight. Instead of treating women and minorities as two distinct issues, some focus needs to be given on the subject of individuals who fit into both of these categories, and their unique situation.