Who I Help: Women in Law
Professional Women and Gender Discrimination
As a professional woman who has lived the challenges of gender discrimination, I know the pain and consequences, and want to help you. Professional Women in the US are paid 80% of what our male counterparts make for the same work in every profession. We live in the only developed country in the world that does not provide paid maternity leave. We toil in workplaces where the culture is largely defined by male rules for success. Many of us are in a double-bind; Getting ahead requires us to be tough and direct, but when we engage in behaviors that mirror men’s, it often backfires on us.
Gender Discrimination for Women in Law
A recent article in the August 6, 2018 ABA journal is titled: Showing anger can backfire for female lawyers, studies say; law prof suggests ‘gender judo’ response.
The article details a series of studies demonstrating that women lawyers are more likely to be judged in a harsher light than men when they display assertiveness, self-promotion or anger. In one study, women lawyers who showed anger were deemed to be less competent, as well as shrill, hysterical, grating and ineffective.
Women in law already face unique challenges, but for those practicing more than 20 years, the likelihood of continued longevity becomes even more stark. That issue was highlighted at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the ABA during the panel discussion “Long-Term Careers for Women in Law: What’s Pushing Women Out and What Can We Do to Keep Them in the Profession.”
Preliminary results from a survey of 1,300 respondents from the nation’s 350 largest firms, conducted in partnership with ALM Intelligence, underscored the disparate challenges, stereotypes and burdens women lawyers faced compared to their male colleagues, even at the senior level. For example:
Women In Law
Women who say they were mistaken for a lower-level employee
Women who said they’d left firms because of caretaking commitments
Women who said they were responsible for arranging child care
Women who said the task of cooking meals fell on their shoulders
Women who say they leave work for children’s needs
Men In Law
Men who say they were mistaken for a lower-level employee
Men who said they’d left firms because of caretaking commitments
Men who said they were responsible for arranging child care
Men who said the task of cooking meals fell on their shoulders
Men who say they leave work for children’s needs
I first met Eve A. Wood, M.D. over 8 years ago, when I was the CFO at the Eating Disorder Center of Denver, and she was our Medical Director. It was a pleasure and an honor to work with her. She brought leadership skills of compassion, collegiality, focus and enthusiasm for excellence to our organization.
Through her hard work, and skill in creating strong interpersonal relationships, she built a top notch clinical team and program for our patients. She developed multiple clinical tracks at the Eating Disorder Center, based on the tenets of medically informed coaching, with healing and empowering at the core. Our patients and their family members expressed, again and again, that they had finally found a physician who truly cared, and was listening to their needs, during a time of crisis and challenge in their lives.
Eve is an outstanding colleague, and friend. It is always a pleasure to work with her. She has an uncanny ability to quickly discern the needs of individuals and organizations, and expeditiously meet those needs. But, most importantly, she brings compassion and caring to everyone she deals with.
Helping You Stay in Law or Make a Suitable Change!
Dismal longevity statistics for senior women lawyers prompted a groundbreaking focus on the issue by the ABA under the leadership of President Hilarie Bass. Her initiative, “Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law” included focus groups and research to determine best practices to promote success for senior women attorneys.
Despite the dismal statistics, women find the practice of law itself rewarding. The study found one common denominator for men and women: Men and women both had comparable overall satisfaction with the practice of law. Researchers say the statistic underscores that women don’t want to leave—they feel pushed out.
Over the years, I have helped many women who love the law but hate their jobs, create lives that work for them. Together, we find strategies to keep them in the field, in ways that support their health, well-being and values. I love helping my sisters thrive!
How I Help
I am committed to doing my part to make your life better. I love working with women in law, and hate the pain many of you are in. It can be different. There are individual solutions that can work for you. But the first and foremost step, is bridging the isolation you feel, and letting the healing begin.
You need one-on-one safe places to share your struggles, outside the universe where it is reportable, or public in any way. I offer that in a one-on-one coaching experience. No insurance, no medical record, no diagnosis!
You need validation, education about what helps, tools, and a champion or two! You need forums to share and support one another. I offer CLE supported Retreats, and Group Support/Training in the A Healthy Lawyer Program.
We Heal One Another
I have always been drawn to working with other women professionals. Perhaps, because like you, I have needed the comradery and support that comes from sharing ourselves with one-another. One of my dearest friends on the planet told me, when I was going through the earth-shattering experience of a marriage blowing up, that women heal women. She was so right. She stepped up to be there for me in ways no man could. The deep well of empathy, knowing, loving, and her absence of the need to solve any problem for me was deeply healing. In safe, loving spaces with other women, we heal.
Women are relational beings. We are wired to care, love, juggle, be present for others, self-sacrifice, keep the peace, and just keep on keeping on. We are wondrous creatures, and capable of amazing things. But, our natures can trip us up, create a tremendous amount of self-doubt and loathing, and wreak havoc on our sense of self and well-being. Sometimes we just need someone who gets us, who has been there, and seen the light, to be there for us. In being seen, nurtured, supported and guided, we can get out of our stuck spots, and find well-being. It is that service I hope to offer you.
I Would Love to Help You!
Women attorneys experience a very high rate of burnout, overwhelming stress, depression, anxiety, substance abuse/dependence and suicide. In your field, admitting challenge or defeat, hopelessness, or need is a weakness. So, you often tough it out to the point of crisis, or even death!
Having a private place to get help, support and guidance, can make the difference between a life well-lived, and a life prematurely disrupted or ended. Today, women lawyers in pain are starting to speak up, and out, as a group. I would love to hear from you to learn about your pain, struggles and desires. Please contact me to see how I might help you!
With love and gratitude, for your sisterhood, and what you offer us all,
A Quick Look at Women Versus Men
A study conducted by Women in the Workplace compared the workload between women and men in the workplace. In addition to those statistics, they also looked at the difference between women and men when it came to household chores.
Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President