Women Dropping Out

I'm not buying the recent feminist propaganda about a "crisis" in retention and advancement of female lawyers. A Boston Globe article promoted an "Alarming report," instigated by Nancy Gertner, a U. S. district court judge. Her comments in 2003 calling for "urgent attention to the relative lack of women in leadership positions in the law," resulted in a Massachusetts state "Equality Commission."

Our society is rife with commissions and nonprofits rooting out perceived inequalities by every group complaining about not getting their share of whatever it is they want-excusing or ignoring their responsibility for personal choices. So it is in this case.

The MIT Workplace Center surveyed large Massachusetts law firms and interviewed both male and female lawyers. Rather than an objective study it seems the authors were seeking "obstacles" to female leadership-other than themselves. The Globe article cited "devastating commentaries" in the report, such as, "I would not encourage my daughter to enter the legal  profession." Wow, that is profoundly "devastating."

Turns out, that comment reveals the real story here. Women in the large law firms surveyed don't get as many partnerships (more lucrative positions called "equity partners") as men. Why? "(M)ainly because of the difficulty of combining work and child care." Imagine that.

Apparently women lawyers who choose motherhood fail to achieve the highest levels at work because they don't have the superhuman characteristics-"I am woman, hear me roar"-we've been led to believe. No surprise. Everyone knows that when working at two jobs, one or the other will not get the attention it deserves. And what does this say about the quality of child care given by these women? Someone at MIT should study that.

Anyway, thirty-five percent of the super-mom lawyers "jump off" the partnership track (as do 15 percent of male lawyers with children). But, get this. The "dropout rate" is
"overwhelmingly the result of the combination of demanding hours, inflexible schedules, lack of viable part-time options, emphasis on billable hours, and failure by lawfirms to recognize that female lawyers career trajectories may alternate between work and family."
In other words, some female lawyers with children won't, or can't, spend the time necessary to work at becoming a partner. Now, whose fault do you suppose this to be, or not to be; that is the question.

According to the Inequality Commission, it's the law firms' problem. They just aren't accommodating enough to lawyers who also choose motherhood. Apparently, firms should give more flexible schedules, offer part-time work, allow women to work less on cases involving billable customers, and other affirmative steps to give them equal pay with men who will work full-time and do whatever it takes to achieve the demanding job of partner. Where is the inequity here?

According to Globe reporter, Sacha Pfeiffer, the dropout "gap" here reflects "cultural reality." Women "remain the primary caregivers of children and are therefore more likely to leave their firms for family reasons." What's wrong with that? More to the point, why is this the fault of an employer?

This also reflects gender reality, Ms. Pfeiffer. In case you haven't noticed, women are different from men. Females follow other genetically driven feelings, needs, interests, and goals. Men don't dispute, deny, or try to suppress female differences. But they're often blamed when things don't work out as women want.

Unfortunately, feminists continue to scape-goat men for their own failings and self-doubts, despite male tolerance and accommodation. For example, many of the law firms surveyed offer flextime, but they are "clever in discouraging their uses," writes the reporter. Well, maybe that's because working on an employee's schedule isn't in the best interest of success for all others concerned with the firm. There was once a correct word for this attitude: selfish.

Still, some big law firms give employees another option. They can stay as "income partners." These salaried positions don't pay as well, but they give women more time for child care and other personal activities, if they so choose. And it's often said, we must respect a "woman's right to choose."

Many of the women who "jump off the partnership track" choose to remain lawyers, but go into less demanding work with nonprofit groups, government agencies and 9-to-5 corporations. Fine. That's their choice.

Unfortunately, this study and the article reporting it demeans female lawyers in the large firms-and by implication all other female workers. It implies that women should be given the same pay as men without working at the expected intensity to earn it.

This sad commentary on the "cultural reality" of equality will continue as long as feminists promote the false idea that men and women should earn the same regardless the level of their inputs and despite their alternative personal choices.
I'm not buying the recent feminist propaganda about a "crisis" in retention and advancement of female lawyers. A Boston Globe article promoted an "Alarming report," instigated by Nancy Gertner, a U. S. district court judge. Her comments in 2003 calling for "urgent attention to the relative lack of women in leadership positions in the law," resulted in a Massachusetts state "Equality Commission."

Our society is rife with commissions and nonprofits rooting out perceived inequalities by every group complaining about not getting their share of whatever it is they want-excusing or ignoring their responsibility for personal choices. So it is in this case.

The MIT Workplace Center surveyed large Massachusetts law firms and interviewed both male and female lawyers. Rather than an objective study it seems the authors were seeking "obstacles" to female leadership-other than themselves. The Globe article cited "devastating commentaries" in the report, such as, "I would not encourage my daughter to enter the legal  profession." Wow, that is profoundly "devastating."

Turns out, that comment reveals the real story here. Women in the large law firms surveyed don't get as many partnerships (more lucrative positions called "equity partners") as men. Why? "(M)ainly because of the difficulty of combining work and child care." Imagine that.

Apparently women lawyers who choose motherhood fail to achieve the highest levels at work because they don't have the superhuman characteristics-"I am woman, hear me roar"-we've been led to believe. No surprise. Everyone knows that when working at two jobs, one or the other will not get the attention it deserves. And what does this say about the quality of child care given by these women? Someone at MIT should study that.

Anyway, thirty-five percent of the super-mom lawyers "jump off" the partnership track (as do 15 percent of male lawyers with children). But, get this. The "dropout rate" is
"overwhelmingly the result of the combination of demanding hours, inflexible schedules, lack of viable part-time options, emphasis on billable hours, and failure by lawfirms to recognize that female lawyers career trajectories may alternate between work and family."
In other words, some female lawyers with children won't, or can't, spend the time necessary to work at becoming a partner. Now, whose fault do you suppose this to be, or not to be; that is the question.

According to the Inequality Commission, it's the law firms' problem. They just aren't accommodating enough to lawyers who also choose motherhood. Apparently, firms should give more flexible schedules, offer part-time work, allow women to work less on cases involving billable customers, and other affirmative steps to give them equal pay with men who will work full-time and do whatever it takes to achieve the demanding job of partner. Where is the inequity here?

According to Globe reporter, Sacha Pfeiffer, the dropout "gap" here reflects "cultural reality." Women "remain the primary caregivers of children and are therefore more likely to leave their firms for family reasons." What's wrong with that? More to the point, why is this the fault of an employer?

This also reflects gender reality, Ms. Pfeiffer. In case you haven't noticed, women are different from men. Females follow other genetically driven feelings, needs, interests, and goals. Men don't dispute, deny, or try to suppress female differences. But they're often blamed when things don't work out as women want.

Unfortunately, feminists continue to scape-goat men for their own failings and self-doubts, despite male tolerance and accommodation. For example, many of the law firms surveyed offer flextime, but they are "clever in discouraging their uses," writes the reporter. Well, maybe that's because working on an employee's schedule isn't in the best interest of success for all others concerned with the firm. There was once a correct word for this attitude: selfish.

Still, some big law firms give employees another option. They can stay as "income partners." These salaried positions don't pay as well, but they give women more time for child care and other personal activities, if they so choose. And it's often said, we must respect a "woman's right to choose."

Many of the women who "jump off the partnership track" choose to remain lawyers, but go into less demanding work with nonprofit groups, government agencies and 9-to-5 corporations. Fine. That's their choice.

Unfortunately, this study and the article reporting it demeans female lawyers in the large firms-and by implication all other female workers. It implies that women should be given the same pay as men without working at the expected intensity to earn it.

This sad commentary on the "cultural reality" of equality will continue as long as feminists promote the false idea that men and women should earn the same regardless the level of their inputs and despite their alternative personal choices.