According to an article in Inside Counsel this week, which cites to U.S. census figures, women now hold one-third of all jobs. This figure includes legal jobs which corresponds directly to the recent rise in women attending law school. Yet despite our gains in the workforce and in the legal sector, we have yet to make significant gains when it comes to leadership and partnership roles.
Exactly why that is still unclear, and everyone seems to have an opinion. Often the argument sounds like a chicken or the egg debate. Is it that women simply choose to leave or turn down top positions to raise families or is it because those positions and opportunities are made less available to them? Maybe the answer is a mixed one and one more dependent on that individual woman’s circumstances and nothing a corporation or law firm should worry about, or maybe there is a something that law firms and corporations can and should do to ensure that there is a more equal distribution of females holding top positions. Regardless of your position on the topic, the uptick of women in the workforce, and in law, is not likely to change any time soon. How do you think this trend will change the discussion? Do you think that the gap will eventually close itself with the rise of women workers or do you think that the gap will only close if proactive measures are taken by both existing leadership?