White men still earn the most

CityPress - - Business - – Le­setja Malope

A re­cent re­port by the Law So­ci­ety of SA (LSSA) has re­vealed how the lion’s share of money is still earned by white male ad­vo­cates – even though they do not get the most work.

The re­port re­vealed that state de­part­ments mostly give their work to black and white male ad­vo­cates, while coloured fe­male ad­vo­cates get the least work in al­most all cat­e­gories.

While state-owned en­ter­prises (SOEs) give work to black male ju­nior ad­vo­cates and cer­tain white male se­nior ad­vo­cates, white male se­nior ad­vo­cates are paid the most.

All fe­male ad­vo­cates, with the ex­cep­tion of black fe­male ad­vo­cates, re­ceive less work or no work from both govern­ment de­part­ments and SOEs.

The LSSA com­mis­sioned the study to in­ves­ti­gate the dis­tri­bu­tion of le­gal work be­tween Jan­uary 2015 and Fe­bru­ary 2016 by na­tional govern­ment de­part­ments and SOEs. Of the 80 firms ap­proached, only 20 re­sponded.

The study probed how govern­ment de­part­ments and SOEs dis­trib­ute their le­gal work in terms of race and gen­der as well as the amount paid.

Among the SOEs, the value of work given to white male ad­vo­cates was al­most three times more than that of In­dian males, while black male ju­nior ad­vo­cates earned four times less than their white male coun­ter­parts.

Pro­fes­sor Tsili Phooko, who con­ducted the re­search, said the re­port over­all showed that even though white firms and white males get less work, they earn the lion’s share of the money.

The re­port rec­om­mended that a body re­spon­si­ble for re­port­ing be es­tab­lished and that it must en­sure work is con­sis­tently dis­trib­uted to all law firms and across all the races.

It also rec­om­mended that a sim­i­lar study be con­ducted in the pri­vate sec­tor to “en­sure that the dis­tri­bu­tion of le­gal work in all sec­tors of so­ci­ety is made known to the gen­eral pub­lic and mon­i­tored”.

A mul­ti­stake­holder ac­tion group, which in­cludes rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the LSSA, Gen­eral Coun­cil of the Bar, Ad­vo­cates for Trans­for­ma­tion, and the depart­ment of jus­tice and con­sti­tu­tional de­vel­op­ment, was formed dur­ing last year’s sum­mit on brief­ing pat­terns and has drafted an in­dus­try pro­cure­ment pro­to­col that is set to be signed later this month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.