There are quite a few recently published articles about women lawyers' apparent "queen bee complex," "vision issues," and various other titles depicting "cattiness" among women in the profession. For example:
In light of these articles, we were intrigued to find out what a potentially competitive or less-than-desirable attitude from other women may mean for new law grads and young lawyers who are looking for a connection to more experienced women lawyers in their workplaces. We're taking a closer look at women lawyers' formal and informal in-house mentoring opportunities--specifically, how women associates are faring when it comes to mentoring programs:
Who is doing the in-house mentoring "on paper?" What about informally?
Is it working, per the associates' views?
What does mentoring mean to young women lawyers?
Do they tend to see in-house mentoring by other women as any different from being mentored by other women OUTSIDE of their firms or workplaces?
If it is true that -- at least to some extent -- women undermine each other's progress at the firm, then do mentees feel that they can truly trust their in-house mentors?
Or, are young women lawyers better off finding female mentors outside of the firm? And if the answer to the previous question rings true, then what does that mean for the effectiveness of women's in-house mentoring programs? Many employers are spending a whole lot of resources on these programs--but are they working? Are associates trusting the programs enough to fully take advantage of them?
And finally, if women lawyers DO feel more comfortable being mentored by other women outside of their firms, what does that say about the importance of mentoring programs (and in many states, the lack of programs) by outside organizations such as young lawyers' committees, bar associations, lawyers' help organizations, and the like? Should those programs be receiving increased focus and resources for maximum efficiency in the mentoring of young women lawyers?--under the premise that mentoring NOT done in-house may bring with it less competition?