While there is general support in the legal field for policies geared toward reaching gender equity in the industry, a recent survey reveals that women are more likely to champion these efforts than their male colleagues.
According to a report by FTI Consulting and women’s-leadership organization Mine the Gap, women in the legal industry show more robust support than men for policies that support the retention of female talent, such as pay equity initiatives, flexible work options, expanded family leave, and more transparent hiring and career-development protocols.
The survey, which polled 1,000 women and 200 men in the legal industry, asked men and women at all career levels to gauge how important these initiatives were to them on a scale from 1 to 10 and found broad agreement regarding their general level of support for the policies.
In one example, 68 percent of women and 62 percent of men in the legal sector measured their support for gender balance in the industry somewhere on the scale between 6 and 10- medium importance or higher. But while 41 percent of women said it was “absolutely important, ” or a 10, only 23 percent of men did the same, a pattern that was replicated throughout the report.
The report showed a 19-point gap between women and men who considered it “extremely important” to have health care benefits that specifically included women’s health care needs and a corresponding 18-point gap between genders on reducing or eliminating the pay gap at all career levels.
“This “enthusiasm gap” is an urgent call for companies to re-evaluate policies that are critical to developing and maintaining a diverse workforce – key drivers for innovation and global competition,” said Jessica Grounds, co-founder of Mine the Gap.