October 22, 2014 Practice Points

Do Female Attorneys Receive Same Compensation as Male Counterparts?

By Suzanne L. Jones

In a recent article on InsideCounsel.com, Ed Silverstein discusses Monster and WageIndicator Foundation's survey, which shows that females in the U.S. legal field earn 28.5 percent less than their male counterparts. Deborah Froling, a partner at Arent Fox and past president of the National Association of Women Lawyers, was not surprised by the findings, stating "We are not making the strides we would like. . . . I don't think things have changed all that much." Froling notes that while firms hire men and women at the same rate, the disparity sets in and women do not receive bonuses, salaries, or promotions at the same rate as men. Froling believes that women would benefit from sponsors who are involved in the compensation discussions, whether the sponsor is male or female.

Martin Kahanec, a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Labor and Worklife Program, also commented that equal opportunity is possible only if “employers enable men and women to reconcile their careers with family lives equitably. In doing so, companies will see happier employees and an increased retention of top talent.”

 

Keywords: woman advocate, litigation, pay disparity, compensation discussions, equal opportunity

Suzanne L. Jones works at Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota


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