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Newsbriefs—What Women Want (and Don't Want)

Vivia Chen

November 19, 2013

Doubtful-by-MrKornFlakes-iStockOur roundup of recent news items—this time, news with a female slant (mostly).

1. It's not smart to use your smartphone when you're in the presence of a lady. Women folks are just more sensitive. Female professionals are twice more likely than men to take offense at smartphone use during business meeting and lunches, according to a study by USC Marshall School of Business and Howard University:

More than 59 percent of men said it was okay to check text messages at a power lunch, compared to 34 percent of women who thought checking texts was appropriate.

Similarly, 50 percent of men said it was acceptable to answer a call at a power lunch, compared to 26 percent of women.

So if you're trying to charm a female executive (for business or anything else), be sure to put away your smartphone. Women want undivided attention.

2. But using smartphone during sex might be okay. A Harris interactive poll finds that 20 percent of 18-to-34 year olds use their phones during lovemaking, reports Marie Claire, which dubbed the practice a "new kind of threesome."

3. Is a generous maternity leave package the way to a woman's heart? Holland & Knight's Florida office has instituted new maternity leave policies aimed at attracting and retaining female lawyers. It is extending paid maternity leave from 12 to 16 weeks and paid adoption leave  from six to 10 weeks, reports Daily Business Review.

Hooray! Let's all go there and have a baby!

Seriously, though, we think it's commendable to offer these benefits. But will those perks make a dent in women's progress at the firm? Well, that's a lot more complicated.

4. We'd all be better off in San Francisco. The super-progressive stereotype of San Francisco is true! In January, The Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance will go into effect, giving workers with dependents the right to request more flexibility at work to take care of their family responsibilities. What's more, this new law gives employees a right of action in case the request is denied. Of course, employers are predicting doomsday scenarios in which employeees will be suing them left and right. (Corporate Counsel)

5. Ah, youth. A look back at the women who started at Debevoise & Plimpton as associates 12 years ago: This is a bittersweet piece about women's expectations and reality. I thought the video was affecting, though I don't think I was ever that dewey-eyed about law practice. In any case, worth a watch. (New York Times video)

 E-mail  Vivia Chen: [email protected]     Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lawcareerist


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Smart phones, like all technology, should have a "rest period" between 12 and 6. (the French are much more progressive about rest, eat, relationship time and lots less crass.)

Thank goodness the West continues to trend progressively for moms&dads!

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: [email protected]

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