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 Patricia K. Gillette; JAMS; Mediator; ( Photo: Hillary Jones-Mixon/ALM ) Patricia K. Gillette; JAMS; Mediator; ( Photo: Hillary Jones-Mixon/ALM )

Lawyers, accountants and software engineers–they might have jobs that pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, but for many women that’s not enough. In class actions filed over the past five years against firms like Goldman Sachs, Chadbourne & Parke, Microsoft Corp. and Twitter Inc., women have alleged men in top leadership positions are making all the decisions on pay and promotions – and it’s clear that they don’t want women to get ahead.

Once targeting retail jobs at Home Depot and Wal-mart, pay equity class actions are focusing increasingly on professional careers. Women in these positions complain about being underpaid, but their broader issue is with a secretive promotional process run by men that keeps them from moving up in their careers.

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