Female Lawyers' Double-Bind Dilemma


"Female lawyers are in a double-bind," Andrea Kramer says, because of stereotypes about what a successful lawyer looks like and behaves. "Stereotypes about leaders is that somebody who is strong, who is decisive, who is forceful. The stereotypes that we hold about women are that they're nice and kind and warm." Kramer, co-author of “Breaking Through Bias: Communication Techniques for Women to Succeed at Work” and a partner at McDermott Will & Emery, says the combination of stereotypes means that people sometimes envision successful and talented lawyers as men. "The reality is that's not the case."

Hear more about the balancing act female lawyers face in order to be respected leaders, and Kramer's tips for being successful today -- strong, articulate, and committed, while also being warm and communal -- by adapting her leadership style based on her audience.