kappycaft1 wrote:Yeah... Just to be clear, I wasn't trying to suggest that sexist biases aren't one of the factors that prevent women from doing well in the legal field (and sorry if you thought my comment was douchey on the last page - I just wanted make an argument like iamgeorgebush was making by saying "oh yeah, well at my workplace this is how it was so blah" without backing it up with anything substantive).
Reg, the only time I appealed to my authority was on the 15% of equity partners being women statistic, which I later proceeded to support with data. I didn't mean to use my authority to support the rest of my argument.
But if you want data to determine the extent to which implicit, sexist bias limits the success of women in BigLaw...well, I don't really have anything quantitative. Just a bunch of anonymous associate surveys I've read which indicate that female attorneys do in fact believe these sorts of barriers exist, granted that most women do not name all the factors that I have (usually just a couple). I obviously can't post the surveys here, so yes, you're going to have to take my word for it about them. I suppose on that particular data point I am appealing to my authority, but an appeal to authority is not always a fallacy if the person actually has some expertise on the matter. The question is whether you trust that I do have this expertise!
And yes, even if you do take my word for it, it's still just anecdotal evidence. Maybe my firm is particularly rife with unconscious sexism, and the male partners at other firms are much more enlightened. But I doubt it.
The problem is that you are setting way too high a standard of evidence. We simply don't have scientific studies to show what exactly is causing women to leave. There is nothing approaching scientific rigor on the subject. But that doesn't mean we can't make educated guesses based on the evidence to which we do have access. And my argument is hardly analogous to your overwrought engineering workplace argument. My argument has at least some
evidence beyond uninformed perceptions, even if the evidence is imperfect.