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The Myth of Pay Parity

Posted By Yahairah Aristy: A President’s Perspective, Friday, August 14, 2020
Updated: Thursday, August 13, 2020

Today is Black’s Women Equal Pay Day. It is not a day for celebration. Instead, a day of concern. A Black woman must work 20 months to earn the same $1.00 that men earned in 2019. Native American women will have to work 21 months for the same dollar and Latina women 23 months. Asian women earn the same dollar in 14 months.

If we narrow the focus to the pay gap in the legal industry by gender, women lawyers in an uncontrolled salary environment earn $0.64 and in a controlled salary environment earn $1.00. (The State of the Gender Gap in 2020). “Uncontrolled –or ‘raw’ gender pay gap, looks at the median salary for all men and women regardless of job type or worker seniority” versus a controlled salary environment which is when all “compensable factors such as experience, industry and job level are accounted…”. (Ibid.)

The reality that in a controlled salary environment, women in the legal field can have pay parity with their male counterparts, offers hope. Therefore, law firms must choose to review their compensation practices to ensure women and men receive equal pay for equal work, and ensure opportunities for advancement for women.

This is easily done if law firms ensure transparency exists in every step of the compensation process. (Ibid.) “Pay transparency is about organizations sharing information about their pay practices, decision-making and using a data-driven approach that emphasizes the work versus a person’s demographics. (Ibid.)

Lawyers Club is proud to advocate for this transparency to ensure pay parity for all.


Yahairah Aristy is a Deputy Public Defender, and is the 2020-2021 president of Lawyers Club of San Diego.


Tags:  Black women  Black Women Equal Pay Day  equal pay  gender pay gap  legal field  legal profession  pay parity  salary 

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