Sue A. Beesley Discusses Legal Industry Pay Gap Between Men and Women with The Indiana Lawyer
Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP partner Sue A. Beesley commented on the wide pay gap between men and women attorneys in the legal industry in The Indiana Lawyer recently. The article discussed the 2016 Partner Compensation Survey by Major Lindsey & Africa that found that, on average, there is a compensation gap of 44 percent between male and female partners at law firms across the country.
In the article, Beesley explained the firm’s compensation system that divides the origination where credit is given to the attorney who originally brought the client in to the firm, as well as to the lawyer who got new business from the same client. In addition, an objective review of the attorney’s billable hours, receipts and originations, among other things, are calculated to arrive at earning total.
Beesley credits this method, in addition to having an executive committee rather than one or two partners reviewing performance, with creating a better compensation system that narrows the gender pay gap. She noted when she believed she was not being adequately compensated, she compiled data, analyzed it and made a presentation to the leadership. Without using hard numbers, she doubts she would have been successful.
She also pointed out that for a long time, women attorneys who had children would often have to step off the partner track. Law firms were not accommodating to working mothers, so women left firms and sometimes the legal profession. Losing that talent forced firms to change. She noted her own firm recently adopted a policy that, in part, allows associates who work alternative schedules, such as women caring for young children, to remain on the partner track.