In the April 14 issue of Oklahoma City’s metro daily newspaper, The Oklahoman, Phillips Murrah was prominently featured in an article titled, “OKC law offices seek to continue boost in female leadership.” The article highlights a transformation in the gender makeup of law firms, where women, who have historically been underrepresented in ownership and leadership of law firms, are making leadership gains.
The story states: “The women are shareholders, or equity partners in the firm, meaning they are part owner in the business and have a say in how its resources are used. In the United States, women make up just 19 percent of shareholder positions at major law firms. In Oklahoma offices, the average is slightly higher (at) 22 percent…”
Bucking this historic tradition since long before it was a cultural hot-topic, Phillips Murrah is far out in front, as the article points out: “At Phillips Murrah P.C., more than four in 10 partners are women.”
The article, by reporter Dale Denwalt, was featured as a part of The Oklahoman’s “Outlook” series, which is published as a special section each Sunday in April, and which addresses the topic of diversity and inclusion.
Read the article excerpt below that features Phillips Murrah:
A firm commitment: OKC law offices seek to continue boost in female leadership
Three of Oklahoma’s biggest law firms have more women in leadership positions than the state and national average, a sign that gender equality in the Sooner State is growing stronger, some say.
The women are shareholders, or equity partners in the firm, meaning they are part owner in the business and have a say in how its resources are used.
In the United States, women make up just 19 percent of shareholder positions at major law firms. In Oklahoma offices, the average is slightly higher 22 percent, according to the National Association of Women Lawyers and the local firms’ own reporting.
A long way
At Phillips Murrah P.C., more than four in 10 partners are women.
Nicholle Edwards, one of those shareholders, said clients want decision-makers to look more like they do.
“I think that’s good for everyone. It’s diversity of viewpoint,” Edwards said. “It’s a different perspective than the older white male, which has been historically seen as the shareholder or equity position.”
Half a century ago, it was hard for women to advance in the legal field, much less earn a living as a lawyer. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the nation’s first female high court justice, had to work for free as a young attorney in California.
Edwards said there is a perception that women don’t make it into law firm leadership because they might pause their careers to have a family.
“I think that’s the perception, and that’s 180 degrees opposite of our firm culture. Our firm culture is very pro-women, pro-diversity, pro-gender equality and pro-family,” she said. “We cultivate and promote capable women without any notion that they have to work harder or faster or more than their counterpart who is a male. One way we can do that is by having alternative practices that would include working from home if they have a sick child.”
You can read the entire story here: https://newsok.com/article/5627756/a-firm-commitmentbrokc-law-offices-seek-to-continue-boost-in-female-leadership