Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gender Pay Gap at Law Firms Not Performance-Based, Say Researchers

National Law Journal
September 14, 2010

Lower productivity is one theory as to why women partners at law firms earn less on average than their male counterparts.

But it's not true, according to research by law and business professors from Temple University and the University of Texas-Pan American. They concluded that women lawyers are just as productive as men, even though they consistently earn less.

"Our data show that women partners outperform their men counterparts," they wrote. "If these women are underpaid and undervalued in terms of rank despite their conformity to a lockstep pattern, the inequalities could be due to intentional discrimination."

The researchers performed a statistical analysis of law firm compensation at the 200 U.S. firms reporting the largest revenue between 2002 and 2007, as determined by The National Law Journal affiliate The American Lawyer. They also drew upon data about law firm diversity from Inc. and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. The result is what Temple law professor Marina Angel considers the largest and most detailed research sample regarding gender and pay at large U.S. firms.


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