There is a significant compensation gap between men and women in law. Nationally, women reported lower earnings compared to men colleagues with similar experience and seniority. In Utah, perceptions of pay inequity were less than those in the national survey. Most women (69%) and men (74%) attorneys in Utah believe that they get paid fairly as compared with others like them. However, women were more likely than men to believe that their compensation is unequal to their peers. Nearly a quarter of women (24%) compared to only 15% of men reported that their compensation is unfair relative to others like them.
Men get this deferential treatment. He’s the sole breadwinner. Because I’m married and my husband has a great job, I’m supposed to be okay... I’m not supposed to be as concerned about my salary or my career as my male colleagues.
Unlike the national survey, however, the Utah survey reveals important differences between in-house counsel and law firm associates. Women who hold in-house counsel positions were more likely than women in law firms to perceive that they are paid unfairly relative to their colleagues. Among in-house counsel, 38% of White women and 30% of women of color disagreed that they are paid fairly, compared to 22% of White women and 19% of women of color who work in law firms. This difference could indicate that pay disparities are reduced by the billable hour compensation practices in law firms as compared to the salary-based compensation practices in companies.