Paul L. Caron

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Childcare Commitments Are Driving Women Out Of Big Law, Childcare Commitments Are Driving Women Out of Big Law:

Childcare commitments are the most frequently cited factor for women leaving Big Law, according to a survey of more than 1,200 senior partners by ALM Intelligence and the American Bar Association.

In Walking Out the Door: The Fact, Figures, and Future of Experienced Women Lawyers in Private Practice, about 58% of women respondents cited caretaking duties as an “important influence on women leaving their firms.”

Perhaps more strikingly, the study highlights a significant gender gap in childcare responsibilities. While 54% of women respondents said that arranging childcare is their full responsibility, only 1% of men said the same. And while 34% of women attorneys say they are the only parent to leave work for childcare, the responsibility falls on just 4% of men.

This dichotomy perfectly illustrates why many women leave Big Law, said Michelle Browning Coughlin, a partner at Kentucky-based Wyatt Tarrant & Combs and founder of MothersEsquire. Childcare alone isn’t the reason why women leave, she said, but the combination of having to manage professional obligations with the near-sole responsibility of raising a child is a huge factor.

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"Childcare Obligations Are Driving Women Voluntarily Out of Many Professions (Until If and When They Voluntarily Choose to Return".)
There - fixed it for you.

Posted by: Tyler | Dec 20, 2019 11:52:51 AM

Eventually childcare will be entirely socialized ("early learning" anyone?) thereby freeing up women for true self-actualization (and men from burdensome responsibilities). It won't end well for lots of reasons, but plenty of very smart folks with advanced degrees will applaud the accomplishment without ever connecting it to the inevitable social pathologies. Catholics call this kind of thing invincible ignorance -- a term rooted in mercy.

Posted by: Michael Petrik | Dec 20, 2019 9:28:57 AM

So what? Life is about choices. Big law and indeed most law is all about billable hours. Not sure why we would think women are uniquely exempt from the harsh realities of big law, which are meat grinder for anyone.

Posted by: Hand kick | Dec 19, 2019 11:06:49 AM

So, on average and relative to men, women prioritize their kids more than their high-paying, high-status, time-intensive job.

Shocking news.

Since this is mostly a population that can afford daycare & nannies, it's probably not a financial issue and will not be solved by employers.

Posted by: David D | Dec 19, 2019 10:49:12 AM

. Why can't you try 6-hour shifts 18 hrs a day and every 1st of each month you rotate the people? example 5 am to 11 am, 11 am to 5 pm, and 5 pm to 11 pm? just something to think on.

Posted by: joseph | Dec 19, 2019 10:35:58 AM

I like my kids better than often secretive and grasping tax avoidance too!

Posted by: Anand Desai | Dec 19, 2019 5:32:43 AM

Real partnerships don't split all tasks, responsibilities, and obligations 50:50. They divide by competency, interest, and necessity. Just as women are favored in child custody issues when a partnership dissolves, women statistically take on more child care responsibilities during the life of the partnership. Statistically, women seem to prefer that arrangement; in fact, altering it too much emasculates men and their women respect them less.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Dec 19, 2019 3:57:47 AM

Maybe there are some irreducible differences between men and women, and the endless analyses of this type aren't helping?

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Dec 19, 2019 2:07:15 AM