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American Bar Association Perspectives 2 Chair’s Message A Vol. 21, No. 2 Fall 2012 C ommission C hair my B. C E ditorial B oard a m. Cey, C mcee Ekeeg mc Fee l. le Fk Ke Ge Ke lckw de lc Je mcCy ly hec sc Je sey mce ty-Cbee hee We Vg C ommission s taFF sw ty Kk, dec a G Bb le Bevey te me W aBa P uBlishinG E ditor Je hpe-ap aBa P uBlishinG d EsiGnEr Bbbe scez oe-ye bcp: $35. t bcbe, c 1-800-285-2221  v www.ecb.g/gp/ we ae  e qe : aBa C  We  e Pe 321 n. Ck s. Ccg, il 60654-7598 Pe: 312-988-5715 Fx: 312-988-5790 E-: bcwp1@ecb.g www.ecb.g/gp/ we Perspectives (issn 1062-1083)  pbe  e  ye by e aBa C  We  e Pe. i eek   wye we b e, p- g,  pbc p  we wye. te pbc eve     we wye  e e expeece  -   ee  e cege. Ce   ecey efec e vew  e aBa  e C-   We  e Pe. Cpyg ©2012 aec B ac. a g eeve. t eqe ep, g  www.ecb. g/y/ep.. Call to Action for Gender Equity As reported in this and other issues o Perspectives , it is clear that there are many issues aecting women that arise because they are in the minority. This is particularly true with respect to leaders directing the course o our country. The Commission works tirelessly to develop women lawyer leaders who will have an impact in their work envi- ronments, the legal proession, their communities, politics—indeed, in all arenas. Its our previous Women in Law Leader- ship (WILL) Academies were designed to train women to be uture leaders and give them the skills they need to take their careers to the next level. The 2012 WILL Academy, which will take place on December 6−7 in San Francisco, will oer opportunities to gain valuable insights rom and network with a sterling roster o prominent general counsel, judges, and practitioners. Attendees will learn why women need to be represented in leader- ship positions in frms, corporations, and government jobs and will gain the tools necessary to prepare them to assume these leadership positions. For more inormation, visit ABA President Laurel G. Bellows is passionate about her call to action to attain gender equity and created the Gender Equity Task Force as one o her presiden- tial initiatives. Women presently constitute 33 percent o the legal proession, and they certainly are visible in all avenues o lie. But as Bellows has stated, “Visibility o women does not equal equality.” Women still do not have equal compensation or equal opportunity o promotion. Toward these ends, the task orce work- ing groups will ocus on several key areas. One working group is taking a two- pronged approach to the critical issue o lawyer compensation, where discrimina- tion continues to exist. First, the group will develop a pay-gap toolkit or state and local bar associations to use to educate their members about the underlying reasons or the disparity in pay between women law- yers and their male counterparts. Second, the group will develop model compensa- tion policies and best practices or frms to employ to develop equitable and transpar- ent compensation systems. Another working group is ocusing on engaging young emale and male lawyers in gender equity issues. Young lawyers may not understand that bias and discrimination exist because they have not yet had that experience; moreover, bias today is oten more subtle and implicit rather than overt. Other working groups will invest their eorts in the ollowing areas: • Enhance the collaboration and coordination o projects and other initiatives o women’s groups in the ABA to leverage their collec- tive power. • Present a general counsel summit to discuss creative ways to help ensure that the outside women lawyers handling their companies’ work are advancing in their law frms and receiving air origination credit or that work. • Help create a women-to-women business reerral network with women bar leaders and lawyers rom international bar associations. • Educate the general public on gender equity issues. Whatever the roads taken by the Commission, Bellows, and the task orce working groups, the destination is the same. We have seen the positive impact o a “critical mass” o women in corpo- rate boardrooms, law frms, the courts, academia, and other institutions. Every- one—including men, children, and amilies—benefts rom true gender equity, and our society is all the richer. By Mary B. Cranston Mary B. Cranston is chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. She is the retired senior partner and immediate past chair of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in San Francisco.