Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why are minority women leaving the big law firms?

I don't think this is a problem just  for minority women (the only articles that will sell), or just law, but women in general. When we get away from education, or nursing, or business related fields, we complain, feel insecure, anxious, and put upon. And good golly Miss Molly, it's been 40 years! I've noticed that women in the formerly male-only professions (in my youth) retire quite early and try something else, or leave to raise families, try art, or write a novel. Librarians, teachers, nurses, buyers, accountants--they seem to stick it out. Back when I was employed in the 1990s, I knew a woman lawyer who had become a librarian, and a woman veterinarian who had become a librarian.  I know a woman doctor who quit in her 50s to write novels, and another who quit in her 50s because she hated the government interference in her profession. Am I meeting the wrong women? We females by-passed men in college enrollment for the last 2 decades, yet still picking the soft degrees and complaining about salaries. When we pick the tough fields, we drop out?

Eighty-five percent of minority female attorneys in the U.S. will quit large firms within seven years of starting their practice. According to the research and personal stories these women share, it’s not because they want to leave, or because they “can’t cut it.” It’s because they feel they have no choice.

“When you find ways to exclude and make people feel invisible in their environment, it’s hostile,” Jones says. “Women face these silent hostilities in ways that men will never have to. It’s very silent, very subtle and you, as a woman of color—people will say you’re too sensitive. So you learn not to say anything because you know that could be a complete career killer. You make it as well as you can until you decide to leave.”
I wonder how black women "know" what hostilities the men in their firm have faced?

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