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Florida Bar survey finds disparate pay between male, female attorneys

When it comes to gender bias, many people think it's somehow confined to factories, warehouses or other industrial venues. This couldn't be any further from the truth, however, as the unfortunate reality is that gender bias in the workplace knows no boundaries, occurring with stunning regularity in blue collar and white collar venues alike.

If you don't believe it, consider that researchers at Columbia Business School, the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management determined in a recent study that male MBA's earn an average of $26,000 more in their first year after graduation than their female counterparts.

Furthermore, consider that researchers from the University of Michigan and Duke University determined that on average a female physician will earn $360,000 less over the course of a 30-year career than a male physician working the exact same schedule and with the same qualifications.

While it would perhaps be tempting to think that the field of law was somehow different given that attorneys understand that gender discrimination is illegal, the results of a recently released survey right here in Florida suggest this is not necessarily the case.

Indeed, the Florida Bar Association asked 3,137 female attorneys who are members of the Young Lawyers Division -- meaning those 35 and younger, or those practicing five years or less -- about the prevalence of gender bias in a survey conducted back in October and November.

Among the many highly disconcerting findings, the survey found that 21 percent of the attorneys indicated that they did not believe that they were paid as well as their male counterparts.

This finding follows the results of prior survey conducted by the Florida Bar, which found that young female attorneys do indeed earn an average of $500 less that young male attorneys.

For its part, the Florida Bar has expressed shock at these findings and pledged to address the issue of disparate pay gaps between male and female attorneys.

More than anything, what this all serves to underscore is that gender discrimination can occur at any time, in any place and in any profession. When it does, it's important for those who believe they have been victimized to understand that they have rights and options for seeking justice.

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