Statement of Laurel G. Bellows, President, American Bar Association Re: American Law Daily Survey Showing Gender Pay Gap Among Law Partners
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 20, 2012 – Whether through implicit bias or a failure of our profession’s system of compensation, top women partners in law firms across the country are not being paid equitably. This troubling reality was confirmed most recently through a survey of more than 2,000 lawyers released yesterday by the Am Law Daily.
According to the survey, average compensation for female law partners has decreased by 3 percent since 2010, while average compensation for male law partners has grown by more than 8 percent. What’s more, the pay gap between male and female partners has increased by 46 percent over the past two years. Meanwhile, according to an earlier survey by the National Association of Women Lawyers, only 15 percent of equity partners at the nation’s largest law firms are women – and that number has remained fixed since 2006.
This gender pay disparity is a longstanding, unresolved problem that will only get worse if we do not commit now to bring pay equity to the legal profession. The American Bar Association’s Gender Equity Task Force is developing model compensation policies for law firms that will increase transparency in the compensation process, encourage inclusion of women on law firm compensation committees, and ensure that women are provided with the same financial opportunities as men.
Please click here for a biography and photo of Laurel G. Bellows, president of the American Bar Association.
(Media contact: Emilie Surrusco at 202-662-1508 or Emilie.Surrusco@americanbar.org)
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