Happy Equal Pay Day! (and an opportunity to brag on my firm)

By: Amy Epstein Gluck

Today is Equal Pay Day, a day that indicates how far into 2018 American women must work to earn as much as men did the previous year. 

Am I going to go on and on about unfairness and inequity? I am not.

Instead, I provide you with facts and the results of a survey targeting female millennials. The Hive, theSkimm, and SurveyMonkey collaborated to poll nearly 10,000 people, including almost 1,200 women who classify as millennials. (Do you wonder where that age cutoff is? I did. The Pew Research Center says a millennial is a person born between 1981 and 1996, i.e., 22 to 37 years old).

I don’t have a lot of time right now, but I wanted to provide our readers with some of the comments to the poll and statistics that resulted from it:

  • “Despite being a leader, I am still left off of important e-mails, left out of important decision-making processes, and left in the dark”;
  • “When the group is together or a speaker is addressing us, they tend to only look towards the men—even with things as small as eye contact . . . the ‘boys’ club’ mentality is, unfortunately, still alive and thriving[.]”;
  • Women address still being passed over for promotions, watch their female co-workers struggle to break through, or face sexual harassment that drive them from their industries;
  • “From my personal experience, men hold all the power at my company. While we may have a significant number of women working on the payroll, it is ultimately up to a man in charge to approve a pay increase.”

Here are the statistics:

  • nearly 7 in 10 report significant obstacles to gender parity in the workplace, a number that rises to almost 80% among millennial women;
  • 65% of female millennials believe inequality at work is due to sexism, while 55% believe that having too few women in leadership roles contributes to the problem;
  • almost half of African-American millennial women cite biased interview processes as a major hurdle;
  • 68% believe that women make less money than men for doing similar jobs (46% of men stated that they think men and women earn about the same); and
  • 66% believe men have more opportunities to be promoted to top positions.

These are the POVs from this year’s survey, and while there is additional dichotomy along political lines, I am not getting into that today!

What About Law Firms? Nah, Let’s Just Look At FisherBroyles

The model at a cloud-based firm such as FisherBroyles provides attorneys with the ability to work from whatever location works for each individual while providing complete transparency among partners about remuneration. I’m not kidding. We know what all of our partners earn each month, and this model works.

After becoming a partner based on gender-neutral criteria, there is only incentive to work with good, smart people. Everyone works hard, and everyone succeeds on his or her own merits.

I’ve written, most recently here, here, and here, that this type of parity creates employee satisfaction and increases revenue. The lack of a “bro club” here tends to create this equality as does full accountability.

Sexual inequality and discrimination and unequal pay are not just “women’s issues.” Rather, discrimination and inequality create a culture of divisiveness and disrespect, which becomes your entire workplace’s issue.

What’s going on in your office or law firm?

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Amy Epstein Gluck

Amy Epstein Gluck has represented individuals and corporate clients in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and various federal district courts for more than twenty years. Ms. Epstein Gluck’s current practice areas include employment law—advising on and drafting employment agreements; handling employment negotiations, severance agreements, noncompete and nondisclosure agreements, “wrongful terminations” and other EEO matters; representation at the EEOC level; advising employers about discrimination laws and how to remain in compliance, and employment negotiations.