Are Outdated Myths Holding You Back? Smash Through Them!

In 2020, there were over 400,000 women lawyers, making up almost 36% of all practicing attorneys in the US. Looks like progress, until you learn that women lawyers are 29% less likely to become partners than their male counterparts, despite the fact that over half the students in law school are women. Underscoring this statistic, the Law360 Glass Ceiling report for 2019 cited the lack of progress at the top levels of law firms for women, revealing that at the top private law firms, four-fifths of partners are men — which means that only 20% are women. You’ve come a long baby? Not so much.

This tug-of-war between what women are capable of and what they are actually “allowed” to achieve is the focus of my new book, Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business,” which chronicles the paths of 11 very different women who accomplished great things in spite of the obstacles put in their paths, most often by male-controlled hierarchies. Get your copy here.

Andie Kramer-1“Lady lawyer” Andie Kramer broke through a glass ceiling and now helps other women overcome gender bias

Andie Kramer is one of the amazing women whose story I share in my book. What I love about Andie is that she didn’t just become a great lady lawyer and call it a day. No, she works hard to systemically change the outdated systems, attitudes, practices, values and beliefs of law firms’ cultures so that other women attorneys like herself can know that they matter and belong. Andie is a testament that women can thrive in their legal careers and smash any myths holding them back.

She was told if she became a lawyer, she would have no friends and would never marry

It’s hard to believe but it’s true! As Andie tells it, she was in grade school when she went with her social studies class to a criminal court building on the South Side of Chicago and decided she was going to be an attorney and save the world. Her parents had a friend who was an attorney and arranged a meeting between the man and their daughter. But instead of encouraging her dreams, the lawyer gave Andie all the reasons she should not become a lawyer, particularly that no one liked lady lawyers, no one would be her friend, and she would never get married or have a family.

So what did Andie do?

She took the lawyer’s advice and threw it in the garbage. She became a highly successful attorney, a partner in a prestigious firm, an author of four books, an editor of two other books, a wife, and a well-known leader, advocating for women in every profession. She refused to be held back.

Check out these terrific podcasts I did with Andie and her husband Al in 2019 and 2020

What barriers are holding you back?

Do you have dreams of being a lawyer, or a tech whiz, or the CEO of your own business? Are people telling you, “No, women don’t do that”? It’s time to follow Andie Kramer’s example and prove them wrong. Step out, push back, and become what you know you’re capable of. Find other women who have broken through barriers and ask them to help mentor and guide you. You can do it!

Other ways you can smash myths and bring about a new future for women:

From Observation to Innovation,

Andi Rethink
Andi Simon, Ph.D.
Corporate Anthropologist | Author | CEO Simon Associates Management Consultants