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Women Lawyers Still Aren't Treated Equally

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By Peter Clarke, JD on June 08, 2015 3:54 PM

Over the past few decades, women began entering the legal field in much higher numbers than ever before. More recently, the number of women becoming lawyers has begun to level off. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but hopefully it's not an indication that progress in general is leveling off for women in the law. A glance at the male to female salary gap for lawyers will show that there is still a long way to go.

Women lawyers still remain absent from most positions of power and they aren't gaining ground in big law firms. What's worse, even the top female lawyers feel that they are undervalued and are often given relatively menial assignments compared to their male coworkers.

Writing for Bloomberg.com, Natalie Kitroeff describes how one female lawyer is called the "work wife" by the males in the office. What does this title even mean? Apparently, it means that the female lawyer is responsible for supporting the male lawyers, rather than working alongside them.

What to Do About This Inequality

The culture of the legal profession has to change. The only way for this to happen is to begin by changing yourself and those around you. Cultural change starts and ends with individual change.

Changing your attitude isn't enough. In 2015, nearly everyone gives lip service to the fact that men and women should be treated equally in the workplace. Yet, there is still so much progress to be made, it's clear that people need to start aligning their actions with their attitudes.

The White House is a great example. President Obama and other political leaders have continually called for equality in the workplace, and yet even the White House has been found guilty of inequality.

At this point, fixing this issue should be obvious to everyone: pay women employees equal wages and don't be caught dead referring to a coworker as a "work wife" unless you are actually married to her.

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