Leading female intellectual property lawyers speaking at a Silicon Valley conference on Wednesday called on female attorneys to push harder to close a BigLaw gender pay gap that sees male partners earning 44 percent more on average, urging colleagues to seek leadership positions and demand higher pay.
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP partner Lisa Kobialka and Samsung Research America General Counsel Charlotte Falla said people are more aware of the gender pay gap now than ever before, but firms and attorneys aren't doing enough to correct it. Women need to be more assertive in demanding equal pay and obtaining seats on executive committees, where they have more power to narrow the gap, they said.
“Remember, boards are all white guys with the one token rich woman,” Falla said.
The attorneys’ comments came during a panel that kicked off the daylong Women in Intellectual Property & Law Summit held in Palo Alto, which drew dozens of female tech IP attorneys from throughout the valley.
During the panel, Kobialka pointed to a 2016 survey conducted by legal search firm Major Lindsey & Africa, which found that large firm female partners earned an average of $659,000 annually compared with an average of $949,000 for male partners. Kobialka said she was shocked when she saw the numbers, and now she includes the survey in her billing memos to her firm.