It's the blame game. Women and minority numbers in law firms are low, but it must be someone else's the fault: the women, their uteri, the economy, or--the clients!
Yep. Now it's the client's fault. From this article: Charlotte law firms challenged to hire minorities, women, we learn that the percentages of women and minority lawyers is ridiculously low in Charlotte:
According to a 2008 study of more than 1,500 law offices across the country by the Association for Legal Career Professionals, the number of minority partners among all law firms was 5.9% of the total, while the number of minority women partners was 1.84%.
At 24 Charlotte law offices with 728 partners, 4.26% of the partners were minorities, while 1.37% were minority women.
But these abysmal rates are not the fault of the firms. Nope. It's the client's fault:
Increasing the number of minority partners at firms is a particular challenge in Charlotte, she says, because of the opportunities to work in legal departments at large companies such as BofA and Duke.
“We lose a lot of lawyers of color and women to our clients,” she says. “That’s where we in Charlotte in particular have some difficulty.”
Hmmm, maybe that's because the clients foster a corporate environment that encourages--nay requires--diversity and equality:
At Microsoft, for example, the software giant uses carrots such as providing bonuses to firms that have measurably improved their diversity numbers. And BofA requires its top 100 firms to disclose on a quarterly basis how much of the bank’s work is being handled by minority or women associates and partners.
Duke is considering sterner measures such as taking legal work away from firms that don’t improve the diversity among their ranks.
Go figure. The women and minorities would rather jump ship than work at firms sitting on their laurels, relishing in the good ol' days and the good ol' boy network--resulting in zero women partners in 1/3 of the law offices in Charlotte.
I'm not surprised, are you?