Why are female partners harsher than male partners? I feel like female partners are unnecessarily more cut throat than their male counterparts. *at least in my experience*

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at

This is also a gender thing. Female partners tend to be/seem harsher on female associates and softer on male associates whereas male partners tend to be/seem harsher on male associates and softer on female associates.

like

I find this to be mostly true, that said most of the female partners I work with are 1) type A (as am i) so we tend to focus on minor errors like it's the end of the world and micro manage like it's our second job, and 2) are litigators.
The male litigators I work with are not type A at all and rely on support staff or an associate to keep them organized and not falling apart...so...kinda may be more on how the attorney handles their files imo

like

I think is a product of what they had to do, overcome, give up, go through, suffer, etc to make it in a predominantly white male world. Law is still very much an old boys club both internal at firms and definitely externally. I don’t think it’s that they want others to suffer but more that they’re damaged by the experiences they had on their way. So they don’t see the world as rosey.

like

Hasn’t been my experience at all. I definitely prefer working for the females in my group and I’m a cis white guy.

like

Same, also a white man.

like

I’ve had the same observation. I think it’s because the female partners have had to be ballsy broads and no-nonsense in order to achieve their rank.

like

They want you to man up

like

Personally, if I am not more "cut-throat" or "aggressive" people think they can walk all over me and I was advised early on to be more aggressive than my male counterparts or clients will lump you in as not being aggressive enough (it's a perception thing). I would act the same as a partner, I still feel like i have to fight for everything and people are expecting me to leave and have kids, setting my potential ability to make partner back further.

I really believe it is based in how male opposing counsel can often treat us. On a number of occasions I have had to flat out tell opposing counsel to stop talking over me in depositions and stop interupting me. Ive also had opposing counsel call me "honey" to my face and when my client was present. So perhaps that and similar issues add to it.

As an example, i even blatently told one opposing on the record in a deposition "i get it, youre a man and can speak louder than me, but all this puffing out your chest does (counsel tries to interupt), John, i let you put your statement on the record so please be quiet. As i was saying...all this does is make [your client] feel like you are somehow winning this deposition when, in reality, he is coming off evasive and is becoming increasingly uncooperative. I get it, he doesnt want to be here, but at this rate we will have a third day of depositions. If you continue to make speaking objections and allowing your client to intentionally avoid my questions I will not hesitate to get the court involved and am happy to do so now once you direct your client to sit down and answer the pending question." Not kidding, that's a quote (minus a few duplicate words) as i kept it all on the record.

I know it bordered on being too aggressive (basically saying he is sexist) but, in my defense, i know he didnt treat a similarly experianced attorney in the same manner about a year prior because I read the transcript.

likehelpful

Wow thanks for sharing that. That’s really insightful.

This has definitely been my experience! And it is so sad.

likesmart

Here are 6 points I gathered on this so far. But these aren’t exhaustive, meaning it could be any reason, including that they aren’t harsher at all.

1. Some are not harsher. But you may be wrongly perceiving them as such for at least two reasons. First, because you’re not used to women in authoritative roles, seeing a woman in such a role doing the same thing a “non-aggressive” male partner does can seem harsh if you’re expecting them to not be a partner in the first place. This can happen unconsciously. Second, you may not have gotten to know the female partner(s) as closely as your male partner(s). This often happens because men dominated the partner space and so everyone gravitates toward them, especially if you are a male, too, and tend to have more in common with men than women. Since you may have not gotten to know the female partner as much as a male partner, directions from the female partner seem cold and harsh while the same directions from a closer male colleague is just “that cool old Bob asking me to help him out real quick cause he’s probably out to dinner with his wife again.”

2. Some female partners are actually harsher, and it’s not just a misperception, because they just have shitty attitudes, just like some male partners have shitty attitudes and are harsher than some female partners.

3. Some female partners are actually harsher than some male partners because as someone above explained they may have had to get tough skin to deal with the sexism so far.

4. Some female partners are actually harsher than some male partners, and it’s not just a misperception, because they’ve experienced harshness themselves, including in part because of sexism, as they rose through the ranks, and they think it’s appropriate to be just as harsh to their juniors. It’s perceived as a hazing that’s part of the profession. Since female partners tend to have received harsher treatment moving up given the added sexism, the harshness they in turn pass to their juniors can be harsher too.

5. Related to #4 above, some female partners recognize that part of the harshness they experienced moving up was due to sexism. They also recognize that male colleagues get to be harsh and not a lot of people complain. But instead of not passing it on to the next juniors, they think, wrongly, that “feminism” requires them to be harsh, especially to male juniors. In other words, it’s a misguided form of achieving equity (I.e. male colleagues get to do this and it happened to me extra so I should get to do it, too, and do it especially to male juniors). Except this is one of those times where you level down for equality, not level up (I.e. no one should be harsh, instead of women should also be harsh).

6. Some female partners are strapped with added burdens in their lives because of sexism, like being expected to take care of the kids all by themselves and be a full time lawyer. Having to do all this extra work makes one more likely to be more tired and irritable, as we all would be if we are overworked, especially in part because we’re doing extra work society imposed on us because of our sex.

The above were focused more on harshness toward more junior colleagues but equally could be the possibility among colleagues of equal levels.

smart

Thanks for sharing your insights. I try to be empathetic, but it’s hard to keep this insight in mind when you’re on the receiving end of the harshness.

Cis white guy here, I work for a female partner primarily and she's hella chill. Mid sized ID firm

like

I think this has more to do with individual people and the firms they grew up in. It probably speaks more to your firm’s culture than female partners in general.

like

I find the women I work with are amazing and better to work for. That being said, I had an interview with an awful woman at a law firm who basically berated me because I could not remember what topic I had written on the law journal. 🙄

like

I’ve been at this 20+ years and found male partners who were leaders and mentors (with some notable exceptions) mean as hell but actually cared whilst female partners (again, with notable exceptions) have been mostly callous with glaring favoritism to female associates. Funny, though, and anecdotally of course, that the female associates found working with female partners more challenging than the male partners, as we men tend to tread lightly with them far more than the male associates.

like

Related Posts

Manager (VP) mad that I didn’t include her on a call with other Legal VPs earlier this week, despite me not organizing the call. Then Manager gets mad when I ask her to confirm whether I should pass on work to another Legal VP/VP’s team because I should have just sent it over without asking my Manager. Is it just me or is my Manager just being difficult?

like

New to the firm. What’s the best way to introduce myself to partners? Friendly intro emails to setup brief calls or have others introduce you to them? Other methods?

like

Thoughts on blindsiding someone with a bad review? I thought it’d be common courtesy not to...but why does it still happen? Besides passive aggressiveness

like

As a police officer I have had VIP positions in cases of violence against women, but also in cases of violence against men, although both cases of violence, we do not usually proceed in the same way. Is there an overprotective effect of police officers toward women?

like

Hi fishes. I had a phone call scheduled with a partner but she didn’t call me in the end. Would you remind her or just wait for her to call back?

like

One of my coworkers keeps coming to me with questions about the software we use as well as how to do things on our computers.

When I asked him why he didn't just ask his manager, he said that she's really busy and always has her head in something else besides being available for questions.

like

The partner is MIA and I’ve decided to email the client directly. Hope he doesn’t kill me

likefunny

I’m dealing with a difficult management situation and don’t know what to do, how would you report someone when nobody really cares what’s going on or is automatically going to side with the other person?

like

I invent small, non-problems for my manager to “help” me with so they feel needed.

likefunny

My bg check won't clear until maybe 9/22. Should I just go ahead and give my current employer a notice/resignation letter?

Shooting to resign by 9/26 or 9/27 and I don't wanna be a dick and tell them last minute but I know I don't owe it to them either.

like

For folks who do early stage company work—is it appropriate for a junior associate to add founders they work with on LinkedIn? Generally, do you feel it is appropriate for associates to add clients of the firm on LinkedIn? (Assuming, of course, you have a working relationship with the person.)

like

Could use some help with an awkward dynamic.

My Dept has been tapped to help another dept promote a DEI study. The client dept has hired a consultant in this area. The challenges I see with this consultant's work style:

-dominating conversations
-micromanaging things outside her area
-steering things toward her own promotion over our company's agenda
-people in my dept (mostly white) are visibly uncomfortable and reluctant to interrupt or contradict her (black woman)

(Cont'd)

An employee came to me in confidence to raise concern about a colleague of hers who speaks often about guns and how many he owns, etc. Based on what she's described, I don't believe this person has been threatened in any way, but it's clear that the situation is making her feel very uncomfortable - especially given recent events. What, if anything, can I or should I do to help? The company is on the smaller side, so there's really no option to move either employee to a different team.

like

What is a clothing item (for work) that I should splurge on/get high quality?

like

I have a manager that does not seem to understand mental illnesses, disorders, etc. He thinks I am making excuses rather than trying to explain things (I have diagnosed ADHD, anxiety, and depression) and I’m trying to take ownership for issues but also help him understand what I am describing better as well. We are sitting down for a conversation later this week. Any advice on how to gently educate or help with his understanding of neurodivergence and other mental health considerations?

like

Any good work backpacks on sale?

like

Get anxious when my boss doesn’t listen to my analysis and keeps asking me to do the research I already did (& already told him I found no answer he wishes to get several times) we also seem to have different understandings of the law. I’m so frustrated...I know I’m not as experienced as him, but I’ve been questioning myself a lot recently. Or maybe I just don’t want to be like him...he calls me chicken sometimes and I question myself whether I’m mentally strong or whether I should do liti

like

A partner that I work with has repeatedly called me by the wrong name. He has done it twice on a call with a client. I always correct him when it happens but it bothers me that he cannot get my name right.

like

I started working at a real estate office about 2 weeks ago and my boss is demanding I give him access to my personal phone since it's the one I use for work. Is it me or is this an insane request?

like

How do you tell your mentor that his manager- who you know is his best friend - hates you?

like

More Posts

Podcast Transcribing

Does anyone have a website/tool that lets you plug in a podcast episode URL and outputs a full (reliable) transcript? I love pulling quotes from podcasts but I'm trying to save the time of doing it manually.
Thanks for any recs!

like

Hi Fishes,

I am a new joiner at EY GDS I didnot receive any bitlocker recovery key with . But after configuration of laptop it is asking for recovery id. Is there any standard format for this or should I contact the tech team

like

Next employer is asking for resignation mail or screen shot what detail should I keep it hidden to avoid current company policy breach or is it ok if I share the full mail with all the details

like

First time poster here!

After spending 4 years as a mid-level ops manager, I tried to break into HR through talent acquisition. Now after 6 years in TA, I've had a hard time getting out of it. My goal was always to get into a more broad HRBP position, but I've since worked for smaller orgs without a solid HR career path. When I ask about my career goals, they keep telling me, "Soon!" Or "Maybe in 6 months!"

I'm testing SPHR in June. Any advice for securing the type of role I'm aiming for?

like

Hypothetical question: Your spouse has $5M in savings and a job that pays $500k-$1M yearly. No student loans or other debt for either of you. Do you continue working in big law or find something else to do?

like

I'm currently working as business analyst(band 4a) in Genpact . Have seen people in the company moving abroad. Will I be eligible to move abroad after spending an year or two? Or how are things in Genpact ?

Genpact

like

Hi, I’m interviewing for amazon SDE2 for the Halo Partner services team, does anyone have advice on what to expect in the first interview and the process in general in terms of questions?

like

What math concepts do you still find fascinating and love to teach?

like

Unreal what is going on here these days 

Post Photo
like

Partners, Principals, and Directors- how did you network effectively as you moved up in your firms? Seems like rubbing a lot of elbows is required to make friends that will vouch for you. Personally find it difficult at networking events because I don't drink, and though I have a ton of friends that do and am personally comfortable around folks that get loose, they seem to be the ones that are a bit more closed off for a number of reasons that I can understand. If you don't drink, did you experience these challenges? And whether you do or don't, what tips do you have on building those real, lasting relationships? Always feels like I have to work down their guard and that just takes so much more work than I feel others don't have to do

like

Have a 7:10 am flight with United, boarding starts 6:20 (no pre check). Taking Uber from old town, so thinking of leaving at 5/5:15 am to be there by 5:30/5:40 for security. Should I leave around 5:20 if no long lines for regular security check?

likefunny

What should be expected CTC for 8 years experience SAP Basis profile?

like

I don’t understand how someone can lie about loving you for 6 months. We were together for almost a year (broke up a week before our anniversary). I said I love you first and he said it back. I asked for more reassurance last month with saying I love you more often. Now all of a sudden he said he didn’t know if he loved me and that love meant marriage for him. Okay well great thanks for telling me this now, 6 months after it was initially exchanged. I don’t understand how he could do that.

like

Afternoon snooze time!

Post Photo
likeuplifting

After months of anxiety and depression I finally decided that mid- December I shall resign. The decision gave me so much mental ease and I looked forward to mid-Dec with such excitement that my depression faded away.
Now its mid-Dec and I'm not depressed/ anxious anymore. Can't recall why I wanted to resign so badly a month ago.

One vicious circle this seems.

like

Anyone in Pharma/Biotech within ClinOps willing to connect with me to discuss how to transition into industry/finding the right level?

like

how do you know if you're being counseled out in a performance eval discussion versus just receiving constructive criticism ( not trying to make you quit but legitimately trying to help u improve)?

like

Is obtaining the right certifications and becoming an accredited investor a way to standout when applying for VC ROLES? are the series exams eligible to be taken outside the US? TIA

Anyone ever heard of the firm Spire law?

like

What should a BA with 5 years experience earn in India.

like

Additional Posts in Litigation & Arbitration

Alex Jones case…how is it defamatory to say a mass shooting didn’t occur? Crazy, sure. Untrue, sure. But defamatory? How were the parents damaged?

When a job posting says the job is for general liability defense, what can I expect this work to entail?

like

I am a 7 year litigation associate and so burnt out on it. I want to transition to in house, but have applying and not getting traction. My experience is mostly insurance defense/coverage, and most of the positions out there seem to be for tech or transactional work. I also come from smaller firms and a smaller school, so no big names behind me. All the recruiters I’ve talked to will only peg me as an insurance defense associate and won’t send me anything else. How do I get out of litigation?

like

I just received a good offer to move from ID to PI. The only thing is the firms main offices are in other cities in my state. In order to bring me on, they offered to create my office at their current office space in my city (currently only used to meet clients) and hire a paralegal to be with me. This is obviously super accommodating. My question is what do you think about me working by myself? A great way to avoid toxic office BS or kind of lonely? WWYD?

like

Does anyone Have a solid underinsured deposition outline ?

like

How do you get better at handling discovery? I don’t mean drafting requests or responses or staying on top of deadlines. I mean handling all the little meet and confer disputes over narrowing scope, knowing what to push back on, knowing what to and what not to agree to in a protective order. I feel like I’m awful at it and I feel incompetent for asking so many questions about what’s okay, what we can agree to, etc. I’m fairly new and have been tasked with a lot of this lately. I feel lost.

like

Third year international arbitration associate. Have been working in a small boutique firm in Paris since I was sworn in. Can I make my way into Big Law or is too late at this point?

like

Craving work life balance. What attorney positions have healthy working hours? I was previously a federal clerk and am considering trying to go back. Or else some other federal agency. Where else should I be looking?

like

Anyone have any suggestions for a horse professional expert? Preferably located in the northeast.

like