The Parity Committee is charged with the task of examining the current position of women lawyers in Minnesota, measures that can be taken to increase the number of women in top leadership positions, the barriers to achieving that goal, the time needed to achieve that goal, specific actions that can be taken to increase the number of women in top leadership, and a recommendation for declaring a time by which equality will be achieved in Minnesota.
The MWL Parity Committee: "I Want To Be Counted" Campaign
The MWL Parity Committee is pleased to announce it's "I Want To Be Counted" campaign. This campaign, which supports the collection of current and comprehensive data on the status of Minnesota attorneys, is one of many initiatives that the MWL Parity Committee feels is vital in the effort towards achieving parity for women in the legal profession.
Minnesota began collecting gender data in the Fall of 2011, allowing attorneys to voluntarily indicate gender on their annual Lawyer Registration Statement form. A complete year of data first became available in the Fall of 2012. At that time, out of a total of 21,007 attorneys authorized to practice in Minnesota (and listing "Minnesota" as their registration address), 10, 087 indicated either male (5,921) or female (4,166) on their registration form. Slightly more than half of these attorneys (10,920) either left the question blank or checked that they "preferred not to answer."
This baseline data, providing information on the overall number of women attorneys in the state of Minnesota, is an important step in MWL's parity initiative. However, in order for the data to be meaningful, the number of attorneys completing the gender question must increase. To that end, MWL is initiating its "I Want To Be Counted" campaign. MWL encourages all attorneys, both men and women, to complete the gender question on their Lawyer Registration Statement form. We ask MWL members to reach out to friends and colleagues and let them know about this campaign. MWL also encourages legal employer leadership to inform their attorneys and support staff on the importance of gender data collection and encourage participation.
For more information about the "I Want To Be Counted" Campaign, please contact MWL Executive Director Debra Pexa.