The perfect way to expose misogynistic Law Companies
It is a shame to make this a subject of
discussion, but, unfortunately, it is reality. The following steps should help
to figure out whether a (law) company mistreats female associates or not.
Ask relevant questions
In order to ensure a successful career, women
law students and lawyers ought to ask several relevant questions regarding the
company in which they want to work. First of all, it is necessary to look for
an overview about statistical information: How many women associates are
employed in the office? How many women with children were released in the past
five years? Is there a comparable rate of released men?
Obtain information about women’s networks
Equally important are questions about an existing
women’s network within the firm. Specific questions regarding a functioning
network give a summary of the company as a whole, and especially the position
of women. Moreover, it is helpful to ask for current events, which are
organized by the firm and integrate female associates. Questions about a
planned budget for a women’s network give a good insight about the value of the
Figure out details about a mentoring program
existing mentoring program for women is very useful to establish an attitude
within the company that is pro-women. Therefore, it is helpful to ask how often
meetings regarding the mentoring program take place. As mentioned above,
questions about a planned budget for mentoring programs are a good opportunity
to determine the appreciation of such programs.
Compare flexible working hours
To get an overview about the handling of female
and male associates, it is advisable to compare the flexible working hours.
With questions such as ‘How many of the firm’s associates (or partners/lawyers)
who work flexible or reduced hours are female?’ one can receive an impression
of whether the firm distinguishes between women and men. Another good indicator
is the percentage of mothers and fathers, who are working as an associate or a
partner in the firm.
Find out about the family-friendliness of the company
In connection with the information above, it is
also advisable to figure out how family-friendly the prospective employer is.
The most important questions should deal with the problem of paid family or
medical leave. Does the company also provide paid maternity leave, and what is
the number of women who are using this benefit? In contrast to this, it is
necessary to ask whether the company provides paternity, adoptive or non-birth
parent leave, and to what extent people affected use this service. Furthermore,
information about same-sex health care benefits make it possible to assess the
progress of the company.
Talk to parties concerned
Talking to employees of the prospectiveemployer is the best possibility to get an idea about how the company runs. Onecan ask female associations about the working atmosphere, or their workinghours. Representatives of women’s networks give information about the socialinteraction in the firm, especially with women. A talk with employees who tooka parental leave can provide a good insight into whether pregnant associatesare treated appropriately. There is a pleasant side effect: Such talks are a goodopportunity to establish new contacts with potential future colleagues.