Bobbie Rollins Sanchez
Published on November 25, 2014
American Bar Association Perspectives 2 Chair’s Message A Vol. 21, No. 2 Fall 2012 C ommission C hair my B. C E ditorial B oard a m. Cey, C mcee Ekeeg mc Fee l. le Fk Ke Ge Ke lckw de lc Je mcCy ly hec sc Je sey mce ty-Cbee hee We Vg C ommission s taFF sw ty Kk, dec a G Bb le Bevey te me W aBa P uBlishinG E ditor Je hpe-ap aBa P uBlishinG d EsiGnEr Bbbe scez oe-ye bcp: $35. t bcbe, c 1-800-285-2221 v www.ecb.g/gp/ we ae e qe : aBa C We e Pe 321 n. Ck s. Ccg, il 60654-7598 Pe: 312-988-5715 Fx: 312-988-5790 E-: email@example.com www.ecb.g/gp/ we Perspectives (issn 1062-1083) pbe e ye by e aBa C We e Pe. i eek wye we b e, p- g, pbc p we wye. te pbc eve we wye e e expeece - ee e cege. Ce ecey efec e vew e aBa e C- We e Pe. Cpyg ©2012 aec B ac. a g eeve. t eqe ep, g www.ecb. 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 aecting 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 proession, 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 oer 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 inormation, visit www.ambar.org/will. 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 proession, and they certainly are visible in all avenues o lie. 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 oten more subtle and implicit rather than overt. Other working groups will invest their eorts 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 reerral 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.