It’s not just less pay and fewer promotions. According to a recent survey of 2,827 lawyers, female lawyers, and especially women of color, are more likely than their male counterparts to be interrupted, to be mistaken for non-lawyers, to do more office housework, and to have less access to prime job assignments. The research was recently completed by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Here are some of the depressing results of the study along with suggestions provided by the study’s authors on how to get the bias out of your organization.
Female Lawyers Mistaken For Janitors, Administrators Or Court Personnel
Female lawyers of color were eight times more likely than white men to report that they had been mistaken for custodial staff, administrative staff, or court personnel, with 57% reporting mistaken identity. Over 50% of white women had also experienced this type of bias, while only 7% of white male lawyers were mistaken for non-lawyers. One female lawyer reported, “I have frequently been assumed to be a court reporter. In my own firm, I’ve been asked if I am a legal administrative assistant on multiple occasions, even after making partner.”
Female Lawyers Relegated To Do Office Housework
Not only are female lawyers mistaken for non-lawyers, but female lawyers end up stuck with more of the non-legal office housework. Office housework is made up of tasks like scheduling meetings, planning parties, and doing actual housework like cleaning up the food after a meeting. And the present study finds female lawyers are far more likely than their male counterparts to bear the brunt of this office housework.
Why do women