Thursday, December 19, 2019
Law.com, 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.