For years we've known that there's a pay gap between men and women, and recent studies by the National Association of Women Lawyers confirm this. Not only that, the number of women partners at the largest U.S. law firms remains at about 15% -- and there's been no increase since the last survey in 2006.
So with that information in hand, what should we do to make sure that we are paid the same as the guys? Let's start here: Negotiate.
There have been different theories about how the pay gap arises and studies have started to confirm that it comes down to negotiating, The Wall Street Journal reports. Men are more likely to negotiate, even first year salaries -- and when you compound salary increases that begin at year one, and look twenty years down the line, the wage gap is significantly larger.
The American Bar Association Task Force on Gender Equity recently published What You Need to Know About Negotiating Compensation, a guide for women lawyers to help them overcome pay disparity between men and women. The guide includes everything from how to counteract gender stereotypes, offers insight into the negotiation process, and gives a list of compensation criteria and techniques for leveraging your negotiating position.
The guide also discusses different types of firms and how corporate cultures vary, and how you should change your strategy depending on the kind of firm you work for. At a mere twenty pages, you can gain valuable insight from What You Need to Know About Negotiating Compensation, in a matter of minutes. It's not often that an ABA task force comes together to give you free advice, so take the chance while you have it.
The first step to equalizing wage disparities is to get in the game. You can download the free guide on the ABA website.
- Equal Pay Act at 50: 5 Things You Should Know (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)
- Congressional Women Staffers Paid Less Than Men (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)
- Lean In, Lean Out -- Stop Telling Me Which Way to Lean (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)