Gold Standard Certification playing key role in gender-based pay equity debate

by | Oct 27, 2016

Gold Standard News

As the debate over the pay equity gap between men and women in Big Law gets aired in the press, the WILEF Gold Standard Certification is taking on ever greater significance.

On Tuesday, reported on the stories of women law firm leaders who carry memories of past slights with them in their roles, hoping to shape a better future for younger lawyers.

One such story comes via Bryan Cave chair Therese Pritchard, who told about being passed over for a promotion at the SEC for a male colleague because, as she was told, “he had a family to support.”

Pritchard, who was elected chair of Bryan Cave in 2013, told “To me it’s just a fundamental fairness issue. It’s reflected in pay but before that in what kinds of opportunities we’re creating for younger lawyers.”

As noted by, Pritchard has made it a priority to make meet WILEF’s stringent Gold Standard Certification requirements. The firm has earned the honor for the last three years.

This year, following a tightening of the requirements, 34 firms were awarded the Gold Standard Certification.

One of those firms, McCarter & English, was recently featured on as the only New Jersey law firm to meet the standards. The story reported on remarks made by New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagni at the third annual Women Entrepreneurship Week conference at Montclair State University.

Guadagni cited a recent study by Major, Lindsey & Africa on the gender pay gap in the law. “This frightens me in the 21st century that this could be happening right under my nose, as an attorney for 30 years admitted to the practice of law in New Jersey, knowing all the women that I know in New Jersey who practice law,” she said.