The Worst Gender Pay Gap in Chicago?

Source: Crain's Chicago Business

By Claire Bushey, Crain's Chicago Business

Chicago's gender pay gap is wider in law than any other cluster of occupations, according to a new study analyzing U.S. Census data.

Women in the city who work in the legal industry made, on average, 58 cents on the male dollar between 2011 and 2015, according to data crunched by LiveStories, a Seattle-based startup that analyzes and presents civic data for municipal clients. Women reported median earnings of $75,000, while men reported median earnings of $135,000.

The industry's pay gap has widened in the last four years, the report says. From 2006 to 2010, women earned 60 percent of men's compensation.

However, the data lumps together all legal occupations, from court reporters and paralegals to lawyers and judges. The jobs that pay less, like court reporter and paralegal, are more likely to be filled by women, widening the pay gap across the industry as a whole. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year there were about 9,000 paralegals and legal assistants in the Chicago metro area earning average annual pay of $56,000, compared to 26,000 attorneys averaging $135,000.

Other reports have found pay disparities within similar roles. Major, Lindsey & Africa, a New York-based legal recruiter, published a report in 2016 that found average compensation for male partners at elite firms was $949,000—44 percent higher than for female partners.

 

Read more of this article in Crain's Chicago Business

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