Episode 28: Claiming authority

October 21, 2013

"The women leave because they don’t see other women being promoted. They also leave because their performance is measured primarily on subjective terms." - Victoria Pynchon

Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in the 1949 film Adam's Rib, about a couple of married lawyers

In this show we look at the world of women lawyers. Big Law, as it's known in the US, has few women at the top. And when they do gain partnership, women are paid less: female partners at law firms are paid just under $500,000 a year on average, as opposed to $734,000 for men. Neither sex is on the breadline, clearly, but a lot of female lawyers today never thought they'd be contending with some of the persistent gender issues they are. Still, lawyers are like many other women in the workplace - they have the same tendency to assume their hard work will be recognized and rewarded accordingly. It rarely is. You need to work the system to get ahead.

We talk about:

  • Why female lawyers flee large firms after relatively little time on the job
  • Why working hard is never enough
  • How some lawyers are claiming authority and pushing to increase the number of women in leadership
  • The job/family balancing act, and what it's like growing up with a lawyer for a mom

16 minutes.

Episode 8: The Good Girls Revolt

September 10, 2012

Lynn Povich never considered herself career savvy or ambitious. After all, she started work in the middle of the 1960s, when nice girls like her could aspire to be a secretary, teacher or nurse once they graduated from college (if they didn't marry right away). But after Povich landed her first secretarial job at Newsweek in 1965 the journalism bug bit, and she was soon working as a researcher for the magazine. Still, all was not well. At Newsweek, men were writers, and women ('the dollies' in office parlance) fact-checked their pieces. That's just the way things were, and the women accepted it. Until they didn't. Lynn and her colleagues sued Newsweek for sex discrimination in 1970, the first ever female class action lawsuit.

Tune in to hear about the suit that changed so much for women in the media and the workplace in general, and let me know how much, if anything, you think has stayed the same.