Skip to main content
2 answers
3
Asked 687 views

Is there still lots of discrimination in the legal workplace towards females?

I am asking because this has always bothered me, and especially if I am going to be a lawyer, the men will probably think they are smarter than me, but I am hoping to prove them wrong. #female-lawyer

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

3

2 answers


2
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Kim’s Answer

Aleisha,


Hi! So, in looking at your other questions, I see you are interested in Family Law. This is critical to providing an answer to this particular question. That is because Family Law tends to have a greater percentage of female attorneys than many other areas of law. Much like schoolteachers being more likely to be women. So, many others have already paved the way ahead of you!


That being said, if you look hard trying to find discrimination, you can always find it. I don't mean to say that discrimination doesn't exist, because, yes, it is out there! Everywhere! However, sometimes there are valid reasons for what appears to be discrimination. For example, if you are given the bad assignments, is it because you are a woman, or because you are the newest member of the team? Expect your superiors to be hard on you. In law, you have to be perfect - your clients are depending on you, and mistakes can result in malpractice allegations.


However, should you believe you are a victim of sexual discrimination, please find a good plaintiff's employment law attorney to talk to, as, like family law, this is a specialized field. As one who litigated a disability discrimination/retaliation case, I can tell you it is not easy. But, I felt then, and feel now, that it is important to speak up, not just for one's self, but for others. It's not something that I wish on anyone, so, hopefully, you won't find yourself in that situation!


Best of luck!

Kim


Thank you comment icon Thanks! This really helped! Aleisha
2
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Allison’s Answer

I have thought a lot about this, especially lately and this has been my journey.

During college in my major classes and most of my career, as a woman, I've been in the minority, and in many instances, the only woman in the room, the group, etc. I have dealt with male managers that were very condescending to me, very unprofessional, enough where it took a huge hit to my confidence, work effort and effected getting a promotion at least twice in my career. When I read "Lean In" from Sheryl Sandberg in 2013 I felt validated.
Now, in 2020, looking back at my years in Corporate America, the managers I've had (both male and female), my co-workers and colleagues, I actually dealt with the same, if not more, with female managers/executives. I had one female manager that would constantly gaslight me to the point where I second guessed every thing I did at work and now, years later, with a new manager, the very same ideas and perspectives that the toxic female manager reacted as if I did not know what I was talking about, today, my male manager, not only agrees with, but has highlighted as a great perspective. Looking back, in addition to this female managers, there have been a few very toxic female managers, along with the condescending toxic male managers...and on the flip side I have had very supporting male and female managers.

This is currently a work-in-progress, but at this point, I have decided that it's up to me to drive forward as if NO ONE is treating me differently because I am female- at the end of the day, I will be more successful and happier if I follow this mindset. I cannot read other people's minds to truly know if they are treating me in a rude manor, toxic, etc because I am a female or they are behaving that way for SO many other reasons (they may have NO idea they are being toxic). At the end of the day, it doesn't matter why they are being unprofessional or toxic, it is not personal and I need to treat each case individually and deal with it head-on in a professional manor. The more I know how to handle the behavior and have more confidence, I can work to "shut-down" the toxic behavior.

I also recommend to document EVERY form of toxic behavior - track with a date/timestamp any emails, interactions, etc. Document as much as you can to keep track of any toxic behavior, it can only help if needed.

Sam Horn, Author, has a very helpful youtube on being bullied in the workplace (or outside) and she has a couple books on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zmgf3qOXM0 It is very helpful to learn ways to respond (or not respond) to unprofessional or toxic behavior and practice as much as you can.

NOTE: As noted in the previous answer, if any person does anything that you feel is harassment in any form, please ensure to get the proper support and help - whether family, legal council, police/authorities and/or HR submission. Trust your gut.
0