A recent study by Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession has concluded that women put in more hours of work on an average than men. This was one of the many surprising findings of the study.
Entitled, “The Women and Men of Harvard Law School,” the sample for the study was HLS graduates from the classes of 1975, 1985, 1995 and 2000, and it aimed at dissecting the gender gap within the profession. The set of alumni would have presumably dispersed into above average jobs in the industry, and would have a good sense of the trends.
The report assesses trends from various pegs: employment after having children, satisfaction levels, leadership positions held, and also employment across sectors.
The findings of the study include:
1. Better quality of Jobs for women:
The report has noticed progress in the quality of jobs that are being offered to women. Women are more satisfied with their profiles, and feel like they are given more opportunities to contribute to the greater workings of their organizations, as well as more intellectual challenges, level of responsibility hence adding value to society.
“The number of women entering the profession has increased dramatically in recent decades, and women lawyers can now be found in leadership positions in virtually every major legal institution in the country, including three female justices on the United States Supreme Court,” the report’s authors wrote.
The opposite sentiment was discovered amongst the men surveyed – they were satisfied with the compensation, but not with the substance of the work.
2. Inadequate representation in higher echelons:
Progress has been recorded, but the gap in the higher rungs is far from being closed. The report has evaluated that women are best represented in corporate legal departments and as the head of their practice groups, and are least likely to be the chief operating officer or head of an office or region.
“The percentage of women in these top positions remains far below their representation in the profession, even when adjusted for the fact that women did not begin to enter legal practice in significant numbers until the 1970s. To make matters worse, even women who have achieved important career success appear to be leaving their prestigious positions — and the profession as a whole — in alarming numbers,” added the report.
3. Women still receive unfair remuneration:
The conjecture about the wage gap has resurfaced, as women still feel they aren’t being adequately compensated.
Women are increasingly happy with the substance in their work, but not with the “rewards.” Nor were women satisfied with “control,” which is defined as work and personal life integration. It was the combination of all factors of a job- the amount of work and the work environment.
4. Women are putting in greater hours of work:
A detailed study of the women of the class of 2000 revealed a shocking statistic: the female employees were putting in at least 8 hours more per week, compared to their male counterparts. Amd while they were happy with their work, the wage gap prevailed. The study however, had a discrepancy- the number of work hours claimed may not be the number of hours billed, as they have to be approved by the manager of the firm.
Source: Bloomberg BNA[Featured Picture By: The Guardian.com]
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