Equal Pay Transparency Initiative: Harnessing Community Data to Close the Wage Gap

It’s hard to advocate for equal pay when we don’t know how much our colleagues are making. As of now, most of us rely on awkward conversations or close friends in the legal field who are willing to share how much they make a year. Wage transparency is key to be able to advocate for equal pay across race, gender, and other minorities.

Racial and gender pay gaps remain a problem in the legal industry and beyond. In the general labor force, Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) men and women earn anywhere from 59-85 cents to every dollar earned by their white colleagues. Sadly, the pay chasm remains a troubling issue in the legal profession, affecting not just AAPI lawyers, but other racial and gender minorities too. In a 2018 American Bar Association survey, 60% of female lawyers and 70% of female lawyers of color reported being underpaid relative to their male colleagues. This wage gap affecting female lawyers, lawyers of racial minorities, and especially female lawyers of color is a systemic problem in our profession, requiring efforts toward change.

In an effort to close the gender and minority pay gap, the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) San Diego launched the Equal Pay Transparency Initiative, a webpage that allows lawyers to anonymously submit salary information that is publicly displayed on the website and is sortable based on a number of variables, including salary, number of years in practice, and size of the person’s firm or department.

The questions take only a couple of minutes to complete and allow for complete anonymity while also being able to intelligently contribute to the discussion. Anyone who wants to help create an accurate picture of the wage landscape for lawyers here is invited to input their data.

SABA San Diego is a non-profit organization that includes legal professionals of South Asian-American descent as well as those interested in issues affecting South Asian-Americans in the community. SABA San Diego strives to promote diversity in the legal profession. Join SABA San Diego in helping create wage transparency in the legal community to help us all become better advocates for equal pay.

tarina mand Dixon Diab & Chambers

By Tarina Mand
Dixon Diab & Chambers
Past President, SABA San Diego