Female lawyers, Republican bosses, and kitchens: The Sequel

I have to admit, I was afraid that I might need to go into hiding after I expressed doubts last week about that study claiming that female lawyers don't do well when their bosses are male Republicans. But the reader feedback has been positive, with the possible exception of an ambiguous comment on LinkedIn (more on that below):

From Commenter Oaktown Coug

This is a study you would expect to see from a liberal group. To them conservatives are knuckle draggers who see females as lovers, cooks and mothers in that order. I agree with Robin, this is likely a conclusion searching for collaborating data.

Typing Woman.flickrCC.liss_mcbovla
"Dear Robin: You are 100% right, as usual."

From Commenter Kayza Kleinman

Well, there is no doubt that there are men who do see women this way - that they are going to be less available and committed to their jobs and are likely to quit at the drop of a hat to be with their children. If you have never met up with that attitude yourself or in other men, you are lucky. Most women I know have either been victims of this kind of thinking, or have seen it in action in other workplaces.

Having said that, just reading the abstract makes one HUGE flaw with the study clear. They don't go in asking what, if any, relationship political affiliation has with gender diversity. Rather, they assume that conservatism = republican AND that this "should" lead to lower diversity in the workplace.

Also, the fact that they chose one particular niche in one industry is telling. I'd be interested in the results of a well designed study that looked at the sectors of the tech industry. That seems to have a fairly high percentage of leadership that officially are affiliated with or contribute to Democrats. Yet, we know that this is an industry with significant problems with gender.

This email from Dan Hales (reproduced here with his permission) was much appreciated, for obvious reasons:

As a long standing conservative (classical - Smith, Hayek, von Mises, Friedman, etc.) and lawyer of more years than I would like to recall (Northwestern Law 1966), I thank you for your outstanding article and analysis of yet another study by “professors" with their thumbs on the scale.  I did my undergrad at the University of Michigan and experienced first hand “not so objective” analysis and grading of papers, etc.  Your well written article deserves wide circulation.  Thank you for taking the time to write it and "defend" us bad guys. I hope you might consider becoming a judge as the next step in your career.  If so, I’ll make the first contribution.  Men and women of your analytical capability are sorely needed - in all fields, today.

Dan, thank you, but President Obama picked Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court instead of me. (What's with that?)

And Katherine W. of Denver, a young female attorney who practices in a male-dominated area of the law, had this to say:

I enjoyed reading your Lexology article titled Female lawyer with Republican boss? Go back to the kitchen! Your perspective is refreshing and, dare I say, encouraging. Thanks for writing the article!

And, finally, we have the ambiguous LinkedIn comment. A screenshot is worth a thousand words:

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 6.01.32 PM

Did Elizabeth mean the study, or did she mean my blog post? Hmmmm . . .

Thanks to you all for the feedback, and if you haven't commented yet, please do so - it isn't too late.

Image Credit: Woman at typewriter by liss_mcbovla, flickr, Creative Commons license. LinkedIn screen shot by moi.

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
Continue Reading

Subscribe

Back to Page