NCAA March Madness (Like Law) All About The Boys

March is coming to an end, but the Madness remains. Amidst the hoorahs and sweet sixteen announcements, a not so tiny voice is asking why the NCAA women’s tournament fails to get the same level of respect as the men’s competition.

That voice belongs to Breanna Stewart and she’s a top-tier player in women’s basketball. Stewart recently tweeted a reply to the official twitter account for NCAA March Madness calling them out for ignoring women’s basketball. Her tweet was in response to a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post suggesting the NCAA’s boredom while waiting for the men’s tournament to resume. Meanwhile, the women’s tournament was still in full swing.

The NCAA is not alone in its inability to acknowledge women who perform as well (or better) than men, but receive less credit, less pay and a heap of harassment when they mention the issue. The same scenario is playing out in nearly every industry, including law.

Many law firms recognize gender inequality and gender pay gap issues among lawyers. But like the NCAA, there’s still a ton of work to be done.  Need proof?

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A recent American Lawyer report unveils new data from a partner compensation survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa that shows that male partners earned 53 percent more than female partners in 2018. The report suggests that much of the gender pay gap can be attributed to men continuing to originate more business than women. Ouch!

The legal industry (like the NCAA) has a problem. The difference is that the law world had been bandying about the gender pay gap issue for more a decade. Which makes the new pay data sort of mindboggling, even to study author Jeffrey Lowe who is quoted by American Lawyer as saying, “The results do suggest that the problem is not going away, even after firms including Proskauer RoseJones Day and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart have been sued over their imbalances in partner compensation. Double ouch!

Struggling to achieve gender pay equality in your law firm? Check out C4CM’s webinar – Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Law Firms. It addresses some key methods for closing the gender wage gap, improving firm diversity, reducing bias, and building a more inclusive law firm culture.

V.L. Brunskill

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