The scene is set; a defendant is charged in Chicago for a crime committed on the block of a neighborhood in Removille. At this point, most people assume the professionals being paid to work on such a case are all male.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to women and law. Most people are under the belief that it’s a completely male-dominated industry, with all sorts of similar stereotypes being cast around.
It doesn’t matter if we’re looking at a case based of the block of apartments in a small city, or a huge one in one of the major cities – the same stereotypes apply.
Haris Ahmed is one individual who has plenty of experience when it comes to the law, and women working within it. We have therefore tapped into his knowledge to find out some of the biggest myths that fill in the industry in this regard.
Myth #1 – The amount women and men get paid is due to the hours they put in
It’s a well-known fact; women working within the law industry receive smaller salaries than their male counterparts. The immediate assumption by a lot of people, whether they work in a big city like Chicago or somewhere else, is that this is due to the amount of hours they put in. In other words, a lot of people are under the impression that due to family constraints, women just don’t have as much time and their salary suffers as a result.
Well, let’s dispel this one right away. Firstly, the above cannot be said for the majority of women. Secondly, studies have shown that men and women who work the exact same number of hours still have a disparity in salary. In other words, women get paid less, despite carrying out the same role under the same conditions.
Myth #2 – Women are less confident and are therefore paid less
This is another really interesting misconception and again there are studies to back up the case.
There’s a significant belief that women are naturally less confident than men, and are therefore paid less. They aren’t as confident at negotiating, and their pay packet suffers as a result.
The actual reality is particularly interesting. Various studies have shown that both men and women are seen to treat women more harshly during this negotiating period – meaning that they rarely emerge with their desired result.
Myth #3 – Women just don’t work within law
Let’s conclude with a fact on the amount of women working within law. While many believe that the industry is vastly short of female workers, it does at least seem to be on the rise. For example, a 2014 survey showed that over 60% of applicants for law-related degrees were female.
Admittedly, when the study is carried out to the working industry, the figures drop emphatically. The point is that more women are finding their way into the industry, and at least banishing those unfavorable statistics and bias we have been used to over history.