As a girl growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, I loved to talk. When I was three years old, for example, my mother, in a letter to her younger brother who was then serving in the Peace Corps in India, wrote: “You have to converse with her to appreciate it… if she lets you get a word in, that is.” Another letter from my Grandma Belle recounts: “I asked her to please stop talking for fifteen minutes,” to which I apparently responded: “I really can’t Grandma, I’m a big talker.” I wanted to become a lawyer because I had heard somewhere that lawyers actually got paid to talk a lot.
That’s why it was so disheartening to read an article in American Lawyer titled “Male Clients Disfavor Women Partners.” The article notes that “male clients are choosing women to lead their work at a rate that’s even below the national percentage of female equity partners,” which is 19 percent. This is despite the fact, as the author aptly notes, that research shows “mixed gender teams significantly outperform single-sex teams on all industry-recognized key performance indicators.”
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