In 2012, 47% of law degrees were awarded to women, and women held 45% of the associate positions. Yet, only 4% of the managing partners in law firms across the United States were women. According to Working Mother and Flex Time Lawyer’s Best Law Firms for Women Initiative, the number of women at every successive level of elevation plummets. From 46% of associates, the percentage dwindles to just 19% of equity partners. And for women of color, the percentages look even worse: from 12% of associates to just 2% of equity partners. So why do women leave? Is there a maternal wall bias? Although the legal profession has some of the most progressive policies on the books, including lengthy maternity leaves and flex time schedules, the culture of the profession has yet to fully embrace the concepts. So we are left with the question: how do we remove this “maternal wall bias” from the legal profession? To eliminate the bias, the myths associated with lawyers and motherhood must be broken, and the culture, changed. Moderated by Reed Elsevier Associate General Counsel Yvette Politis, the panel features three successful partners who also happen to be mothers: Jodi Swick, Anagha Dandekar Clifford, and Kristen Law Sagafi. Together, the attorneys tackle these six myths by sharing their own experience:
-• Maternity Leave is an Extended, Paid Vacation
-• Women Who Take Maternity Leave Don’t Want to Work
-• The Work of New Moms is Sub Par Because They are Distracted
-• Maternity Leaves Devastate Your Book of Business
-• Maternity Leaves Take You Off the Partner Track
-• A Mother Cannot Be Fully Committed to Her Practice
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