On May 11, 2022, Elizabeth Manno was quoted in Bloomberg Law on the findings of the National Association of Women Lawyers’ (NAWL) report on the Survey on the Promotion and Retention of Women in Law Firms, which analyzes responses from 75 firms in the Am Law 200.
According to the article, women rarely break into the top 10 club of the most highly compensated members at their firms. And though they now comprise 47% of all associates, women represent only 22% of equity partners. However, law firms are cognizant of these issues and addressing them in fairly sophisticated ways. In fact, the vast majority of firms in the study have adopted policies to correct biases in compensation and performance reviews.
“There are a lot of policies but what’s needed is more commitment,” says Manno, who co-chaired the NAWL study. “Firms want to do the right thing but that’s not translating into results. We’re hoping to present more concrete action.”
To that end, NAWL lists a series of questions that firms should ask themselves and actions to take. Among the proposals: analyze compensation data more vigorously and more often; give more feedback to female lawyers and be more precise about what it takes to attain partnership; and create succession plans. It amounts to more rigorous examination of data, more transparency, more planning, and more mindfulness.
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