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Partner Stephanie Scharf, Chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, led the successful adoption of Resolution 106 at the 2019 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Resolution 106 urges employers to implement policies and practices to close any pay gap between lawyers who do the same type of work at the same level for the same employer but end up with a significant compensation gap that can be traced to their gender.
Ms. Scharf explained that Resolution 106 recognizes that not all workplaces are the same, and that not all policies and practices can work for every employer. “That is why upfront in the resolution we recommend a range of practices and policies that can be used depending on the circumstances,” she said. Ms. Scharf told the House of Delegates that systematic pay gaps do not arise out of malice or an obvious desire to underpay women, "but history and habit are not friends of change.”
“We can lead the way by giving employers the guidance and ideas and recommended best practices to do things differently, to eliminate the gender pay gap so that in our profession, gender will not be the reason why you earn more or less,”stated Ms. Scharf. “It will be your work, your talents and your achievements that set your compensation.”
Ms. Scharf has a national reputation for her innovative research on careers of men and women in the legal profession. Among various studies, she conducted the first eight years of the NAWL Annual Survey of Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms. The Commission on Women in the Profession has published a number of reports that explore the factors that can lead to pay gaps for women in law firms and corporations at various levels of seniority, including research studies focusing on women of color.
Click here for a video of Ms. Scharf’s presentation of ABA Resolution 106 to the House of Delegates.
For more information on our Pay Equity practice click here.