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The Legal Intelligencer’s Women in the Profession Roundtable

KHF founding member Jacklyn Fetbroyt was invited to participate in The Legal Intelligencer’s Women in the Profession Roundtable, featured in the publication’s November 2016 “Top Women in Law” special supplement.

The roundtable, moderated by Morgan Lewis chair Jami McKeon, addressed issues that included recruitment and retention of female lawyers, gender equality issues, work-life balance and challenges facing women at law firms today.

The editorial staff of The Legal has always been aware that the hiring and retention of female attorneys is an ongoing issue in the legal community. In an effort to discuss some of the specific problems facing female attorneys and present potential solutions to those problems, we invited 11 practitioners to talk about how to bolster the role of women in the law. This year the panelists tackled issues such as work-life balance, equal pay and the lack of positive change and opportunities for women in the legal profession.

JACKIE FETBROYT:  (On Work-Life Balance)… Substantially women were the champions of this idea of work-life balance, which I believe is a bit of a misnomer, but that’s probably a different question, the issue now maybe is because we were in large part the face of that, how do we get across what is the current fact, and you stated some statistics that I am unaware of, but the current fact is that, although we are the face of that, we are not saying that there’s an unwillingness to work just as hard as our male counterparts or to work hard whatever the circumstances are that are required. So in a way that may have cut against us because someone else needs to get past that stereotypical generalization, well, she’s a woman, her priority must be work-life balance, again whatever that means, understanding that it means whatever the person that is opposing you thinks it means. So you know, maybe the definition of work-life balance could be refined and defined a little bit better in a way to resolve this. And separately, maybe we need to let whoever the opposition is, and again determining who that opposition is, I think, another wholly separate question, letting them know that although we may agree work-life balance is something that’s important for us as women, that it does not mean that we’re not willing to do what it takes, again whatever that is for the circumstance.

To access the complete transcript of the Roundtable discussion, please visit The Legal Intelligencer.

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