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.