Working for women sux

That’s the unanimous decision of surveyed legal secretaries according to the American Bar Association Journal:

Female-lawyersWhen Chicago-Kent law professor Felice Batlan surveyed 142 legal secretaries at larger law firms in 2009, not one expressed a preference for working with a female partner.

Asked whether they preferred to work for male or female partners or associates, 35 percent preferred working for male partners, 15 percent preferred working for male associates, 3 percent preferred working for female associates, none preferred working for female partners, and 47 percent had no opinion.

Ninety-five percent of the legal secretaries who responded to the online survey were women. Most were middle aged and had considerable experience. They came from firms of more than 100 lawyers. Batlan wrote about the results in an article (purchase req.) published by Emerald Insight. Forbes’ She Negotiatesblog also reported on the survey findings.

Some secretaries elaborated on why they preferred to work for males, with these survey comments:

• “Females are harder on their female assistants, more detail oriented, and they have to try harder to prove themselves, so they put that on you. And they are passive aggressive where a guy will just tell you the task and not get emotionally involved and make it personal.”

• “I just feel that men are a little more flexible and less emotional than women. This could be because the female partners feel more pressure to perform.”

• “Female attorneys have a tendency to downgrade a legal secretary.”

• “I am a female legal secretary, but I avoid working for women because [they are] such a pain in the ass! They are too emotional and demeaning.”

• “Female attorneys are either mean because they’re trying to be like their male counterparts or too nice/too emotional because they can’t handle the stress. Either way, their attitude/lack of maturity somehow involves you being a punching bag.”

• Women lawyers have “an air about them.”

Some legal secretaries said they didn’t like working for women because they were too independent, Batlan writes.

Maybe the title of this post would be more accurate if it instead read “Working for women lawyers sux“.

Nevertheless, it’s intriguing.  And I think it’s more than relevant to state that 95% of those surveyed were women.

Women are tough on women.

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