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This five page article, Why Do So Few Women Reach the Top of Big Law Firms?, by TIMOTHY L. O’BRIEN in today’s New York Times is an excellent piece with some myth-busting comments like:
Although women certainly leave firms to become more actively involved in child-rearing, recent detailed studies indicate that female lawyers often feel pushed into that choice and would prefer to maintain their careers and a family if a structure existed that allowed them to do so. Some analysts and many women who practice law say that having children isn’t the primary reason most women leave law firms anyhow; most, they say, depart for other careers or for different ways to practice law.
PUNCHLINE: This is essential reading for the Managing Partner and the Diversity Partner (if you have one) but perhaps this ought to be read by every partner.
FASTFORWARD: If you want your firm to be viable in years to come, don’t stop at having the partners read this article create forums within the firm to discuss these issues and take action to resolve them. This isn’t easy which is why only the best-managed firms will get it right.