May 14, 2009

The Gender Gap?

This study caught my attention because it resonates with me:

Many Women Lawyers with Kids do as well as men.

I am often frustrated when studies on women's earnings do not control for the fact that women are more likely than men to step out of the work force for family obligations, be they children, parental, or other.

If you control for actions related to time off, at least in the legal field, it looks like it is an even playing field.

One with many faults, flags, fouls, overtimes, and rough games, no doubt. But even play-time prestige appears to be available.

It would appear, that at least in some subsets of the world, women have completely leveled the playing field. So, how do we explain the lower percentage of women in partnership?

That's the interesting question...

I have my theories, but I'd be interested in yours...


A said...

One guess - a lot of women who enter large law firms and who marry/are married/have long term serious partnerships are likely partnered to a person of at least equivalent or greater earning power, thereby making it easier to exit for a lower earning job (with fewer hours) or to stop working altogether when children are born.

Biting Tongue said...

A: I definitely think that's a contributor to the trend -- I've seen it first hand at my firm.

I'm interested what other factors people see.