The Florida Bar

Florida Bar News

Gender bias report still in the works

Regular News

Gender bias report still in the works

The Bar’s Gender Bias/Diversity Committee should have recommendations ready by the May Board of Governors meeting, according to President-elect Michael Higer, who chairs the panel.

He told the board last month that the committee held a two-day symposium with national experts in late February and met again in March.

Michael Higer “This task force is addressing a very, very complex issue, not just in our profession but in society in general,” Higer said. “We came to the meeting with one purpose, to come up with specific action items that our Bar, The Florida Bar, can implement to address gender bias issues in our profession. It’s no small task.”

He said the committee has a draft report but the details are still being hammered out and at least one more meeting will be needed.

“It’s my expectation we will be able to take all of those comments [on the report], resolve whatever differences we have or. . . certainly narrow those differences, and present to you a final report in May and provide you with a full analysis of what we did,” Higer said.

He added, “While gender bias has unique issues involved, many issues do have carry over that affect race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. and those types of biases. I expect many of our recommendations will be able to have an impact in those areas as well and certainly be a template for addressing some of those issues as well.”

The committee was created last year by President Bill Schifino after a survey by the Young Lawyers Division showed many women lawyers reporting they encounter instances of gender bias in their professional lives.

News in Photos