4 Ways to Reduce the Legal Industry’s Gender Divide

By Casey Sullivan, Bloomberg Law

Two reports over the past week have pointed attention to the legal industry’s gender parity problem. First, a report from Major Lindsey & Africa that surveyed more than 2,100 law partners showed a 44 percent pay gap between men and women. Then, the New York City Bar Association released data from 75 law firms that illustrated lackluster progress on the gender divide: In 2015, women made up 19.7 percent of those firms partners, up only slightly from 19.4 percent in 2014.

“In 20 years, we would be 30 percent women partners, if we keep going at this pace,” said Gabrielle Lyse Brown, director of diversity and inclusion of the New York City Bar Association, as she presented the group’s findings at an event in Manhattan on Thursday.

At the event co-hosted by Mayer Brown and the ABA Journal, Brown gave a PowerPoint presentation to set the table: Of the 75 law firms in the NYC Bar Association’s report, 75 percent of partners were white men, 17 percent were white women, two percent were women of color and five percent were men of color. Meanwhile, associates were more diverse: white men made up 44 percent of associates, white women made up 30 percent, women of color made up 14 percent and men of color made up 12 percent.

In the face of such glacial progress on achieving gender parity in the legal profession, the event was held to discuss problems that impede the development and promotion of women to senior positions and next steps that law firms can implement to move forward.

Read more of this article at Bloomberg Law.


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