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Posted by: Attn: B.Grimes on Nov 3, 2020

 

It isn’t possible to talk about the progress female lawyers and women in general have made without paying homage to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsburg’s recent passing begs reflection on how our lives have changed as women, how these changes have affected our financial freedom, and what still needs to be done for true financial equality.

It was her landmark Supreme Court cases that established the principle of equal treatment in the law for women, and that changed laws that had treated men and women differently based on gender. My personal favorite is Ginsburg’s dissent in the Lilly Ledbetter case which eventually resulted in the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. While the Act allows more individuals who are discriminated against to seek justice, it’s main impact was to shine a very bright spotlight on pay disparity for women.
 
There is much work to be done so that women attorneys are elevated to the roles they deserve, earn the pay they deserve, and are awarded the client business they deserve. The Fair Pay Act was a move in the right direction. That said, I encourage every woman attorney to have a plan around their practice. Your practice is your greatest financial asset. How you leverage this asset will determine your financial choices and ultimately your financial freedom. Ultimately, the ability to close the gap of pay disparity for female lawyers rests with you.
 
What can you do to move your personal needle in the right direction of financial freedom?
  1. Have a plan of action for building your practice.
    • Number one way to grow your business is by having a growth mindset, especially when times are challenging. This means believing growth is limitless. This is especially important for women and underrepresented groups because these groups suffer most from a fixed mindset in times of economic crisis.
  2.  Have a financial plan that best helps you put your hard-earned money to work.
    • Growing your business yields financial benefits, but we’ve found women attorneys often have no plan for their money. And, the kind of life they lead now is often disconnected from what they could afford in retirement. Spend time understanding your current cost of living, how much you are allocating to investing, and where you are invested. A financial plan will make sure every dime you make is put to work, based on what you are trying to accomplish.
  3. Have a career strategy that helps you hone your leadership skills and scale your success
    • What makes a great leader? Having vision, engaging teams, and solving problems are what most people think of when it comes to leadership attributes; however, in times of uncertainty, the best leaders demonstrate courage and vulnerability, strength, and empathy. Explore Brene Brown who has spoken to the importance of being grounded in reality.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg made tremendous strides for women and equality, and for that we are forever thankful. It’s time, now, for us to leverage what she started and take the next steps towards true financial equality.

Bridget Grimes is a financial planner who helps female attorneys live the life they want by having a plan for the four financial derailers, and author of the book Corner Office Choices: The Executive Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom. 

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