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Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2018

Fiona M. Kay

Building on relational inequality theory, this paper incorporates social capital as a device to trace the flow of resources through relationships originating within and…

Abstract

Building on relational inequality theory, this paper incorporates social capital as a device to trace the flow of resources through relationships originating within and beyond organizations. I draw on a survey of over 1,700 lawyers to evaluate key dynamics of social capital that shape earnings: bridging and bonding, reciprocity exchanges and sponsorship, and boundary maintenance. The findings show social capital lends a lift to law graduates through bridges to professional careers and sponsorship following job entry. Racial minorities, however, suffer a shortfall of personal networks to facilitate job searches, and once having secured jobs, minorities experience social closure practices by clients and colleagues that disadvantage them in their professional work. A sizeable earnings gap remains between racial minority and white lawyers after controlling for human and social capitals, social closure practices, and organizational context. This earnings gap is particularly large among racial minorities with more years of experience and those working in large law firms. The findings demonstrate the importance of identifying the interrelations that connect social network and organizational context to impact social inequality.

Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2020

Elizabeth H. Gorman and Fiona M. Kay

In elite professional firms, minorities are actively recruited but struggle to move upward. The authors argue that initiatives aimed at general skill development can have…

Abstract

In elite professional firms, minorities are actively recruited but struggle to move upward. The authors argue that initiatives aimed at general skill development can have unintended consequences for firm diversity. Specifically, the authors contend that approaches that win partner support through motivational significance and interpretive clarity provide a more effective avenue to skill development for minorities, who have less access than White peers to informal developmental opportunities. The authors also argue that a longer “partnership track,” which imposes a time limit on skill development, will benefit minority professionals. Using data on 601 offices of large US law firms in 1996 and 2005, the authors investigate the effects of five developmental initiatives and partnership track length on the representation of African-Americans, Latinxs, and Asian-Americans among partners. Observed effects are consistent with expectations, but patterns vary across racial-ethnic groups.

Details

Professional Work: Knowledge, Power and Social Inequalities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-210-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 24 September 2010

Elizabeth H. Gorman and Fiona M. Kay

Although law schools have seen rising representation of diverse racial and ethnic groups among students, minorities continue to represent disproportionately small…

Abstract

Although law schools have seen rising representation of diverse racial and ethnic groups among students, minorities continue to represent disproportionately small percentages of lawyers within large corporate law firms. Prior research on the nature and causes of minority underrepresentation in such firms has been sparse. In this paper, we use data on a national sample of more than 1,300 law firm offices to examine variation across large U.S. law firms in the representation of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. Overall, minorities are better represented in offices located in Western states and in major metropolitan areas; offices that are larger and affiliated with larger firms; offices of firms with higher revenues and profits per partner; offices with greater associate–partner leverage; and branch offices rather than principal offices. They are equally distributed between offices with single-tier and two-tier partnerships. Distinct patterns emerge, however, when the three groups are considered separately and when hierarchical rank within firms is taken into account.

Details

Special Issue Law Firms, Legal Culture, and Legal Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-357-7

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2020

Abstract

Details

Professional Work: Knowledge, Power and Social Inequalities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-210-9

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 24 September 2010

Abstract

Details

Special Issue Law Firms, Legal Culture, and Legal Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-357-7

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2018

Abstract

Details

Race, Identity and Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-501-6

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2001

Terese Ching and Brian H. Kleiner

Suggests that the practice of law is one of the most regressive profesions in breaking down the white male‐dominated stereotype. State that the hiring practice does not…

766

Abstract

Suggests that the practice of law is one of the most regressive profesions in breaking down the white male‐dominated stereotype. State that the hiring practice does not reflect the demographics of law school graduates and that women and minorities often leave the career in the first three years. Explores the current level of discrimination and harassment as well as the steps the legal community has taken to reduce future occurrences. Examines the areas of illegal bias involving race, gender, age and sexual orientation.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 20 no. 5/6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2021

Fiona Wilson

The purpose of this research was to understand the lived experience of mentoring to provide insight for those who manage and experience mentoring at work.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research was to understand the lived experience of mentoring to provide insight for those who manage and experience mentoring at work.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with a cohort of 43 mentors and their mentees plus key informants were conducted. It is a longitudinal qualitative study undertaken with a year's cohort of mentors (referred to as “devilmasters”) and mentees (“devils”) in the profession of law, amongst Scottish barristers, advocates.

Findings

The meanings of mentoring differed widely between individuals. Mentoring relationships differed in their depth, quality and benefits the mentees received. The research findings reveal the inconsistencies and inequalities that are a fundamental part of the experience of mentoring that, as yet, the research literature has missed. The research also revealed how mentoring alone was not enough and that structured training was required to supplement mentoring. Further, there is a dependency to be found in mentoring. The mentoring process is power laden.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers may need to provide a definition of mentoring to those they research. Power needs to be fore-grounded in research.

Originality/value

As almost all previous research on mentoring is survey based, this is one of the few studies of the lived experience of mentoring, socialization and cognitive apprenticeship.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 51 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 October 2010

Kay Whitehead and Kay Morris Matthews

In this article we focus on two women, Catherine Francis (1836‐1916) and Dorothy Dolling (1897‐ 1967), whose lives traversed England, New Zealand and South Australia. At…

Abstract

In this article we focus on two women, Catherine Francis (1836‐1916) and Dorothy Dolling (1897‐ 1967), whose lives traversed England, New Zealand and South Australia. At the beginning of this period the British Empire was expanding and New Zealand and South Australia had much in common. They were white settler societies, that is ‘forms of colonial society which had displaced indigenous peoples from their land’. We have organised the article chronologically so the first section commences with Catherine’s birth in England and early life in South Australia, where she mostly inhabited the world of the young ladies school, a transnational phenomenon. The next section investigates her career in New Zealand from 1878 where she led the Mount Cook Infant’s School in Wellington and became one of the colony’s first renowned women principals. We turn to Dorothy Dolling in the third section, describing her childhood and work as a university student and tutor in New Zealand and England. The final section of our article focuses on the ways in which both women have been represented in the national memories of Australia and New Zealand. In so doing, we show that understandings about nationhood are also transnational, and that writing about Francis and Dolling reflects the shifting relationships between the three countries in the twentieth century.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Tessa Wright

The purpose of this paper is to consider whether lesbians may experience an “advantage” in non‐traditionally female work compared to heterosexual women, but argues for an…

1503

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider whether lesbians may experience an “advantage” in non‐traditionally female work compared to heterosexual women, but argues for an intersectional approach to understanding the relationship between gender, sexuality and class in male‐dominated work.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses semi‐structured interviews with women working transport and construction, focusing here on an analysis of 13 interviews with lesbian workers, eight working in transport and five in construction, representing both professional/managerial and skilled manual occupations.

Findings

The paper considers the question of whether lesbians may experience an “advantage” in non‐traditionally female work compared to heterosexual women, but finds that their experience is complicated by other factors such as ethnicity, class and organisational culture. Organisational response and practice in relation to sexual orientation is found to be equally significant in shaping the realities of working lives for lesbians in traditionally male work.

Research limitations/implications

The findings in this paper are based on an analysis of interviews with lesbians drawn from a larger research project examining the experience of both heterosexual and lesbian women working in the transport and construction sectors.

Originality/value

The paper addresses a gap in the literature on lesbian experience in non‐traditionally female work and aims to contribute to knowledge of the diversity of lesbian experience through examining the working lives of lesbians in both professional and skilled manual roles.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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