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Chief Legal Officers Continue to Experience Gender Pay Gap
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Chief Legal Officers Continue to Experience Gender Pay Gap

Summary: A recent report by the Association of Corporate Counsel demonstrates that women earn less than their male counterparts in various positions.

According to the Washington Post, the gender pay gap continues to plague Americans, even those at the highest levels of management. According to new data gathered by the Association of Corporate Counsel, men and women earn differently within legal departments at various companies. The Association of Corporate Counsel represents 37,000 in-house attorneys in 90 different countries.

  
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In 2014, most chief legal officers earned between $200,000 and $299,99, based on the annual Chief Legal Officer Survey that was released last week.

Those who earned above $299,999 were more likely to be male: close to a third of male chief legal officers earned a base salary in excess of $300,000. Only 22 percent of female chief legal officers earned at this level.

A Fox Business host argued that lower wages allowed women to keep their jobs during the recession.

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When examining total compensation packages, to include base salary and other benefits, roughly 38 percent of male chief legal officers earned over $400,000. In comparison, about 26 percent of female chief legal officers earned over $400,000.



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Surveys were conducted of 1,289 chief legal officers in 46 countries. In this sample, 78 percent were employed in the United States. The 2014 survey was the first to break down salary data by gender.

Stanford Law professors have suggested solutions to the gender gap problem.

Veta T. Richardson, the president of the Association of Corporate Counsel, commented, “Law is like most other professional services industries, in that women tend to be compensated at lower rates than comparable majority males. It remains a very disappointing finding. We’d like to see the gaps closing.” The New York Times adds that gender gaps are most prevalent in areas that value long hours, such as the law.

However, more women are working their way up to chief legal officer positions in today’s world. The percentage of women working in these positions today is 12 percentage points higher than the baby boomer generation.

In October, a study found that racial and gender inequality still persist in the legal industry.

The legal industry has suffered a pay gap between men and women for some time. In large law firms, there are more men than women who work as equity partners, which is the highest-compensated position in a firm. Women attorneys make up less than 20 percent of equity partners in the country’s 200 biggest law firms, and even then, women earn 85 to 89 percent of what their male colleagues make, according to a survey conducted in 2014 by the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Source: Washington Post

Photo credit: source.southuniversity.edu



 

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