Tax Notes Today turned to Kostelanetz & Fink partner Caroline D. Ciraolo for comment on solutions to the underrepresentation of women in tax professions.
The article says “Things are improving, according to Ciraolo. A lot of women are having children and staying in the practice, she said. They take maternity leave, they work from home — “in this day and age you can work from anywhere. . . . It’s so much better now than it was 20 years ago,” she said.
Ciraolo said she supports alternative work schedules but is not a fan of paying someone who needs to leave the office at 4 p.m. 80 percent of full-time compensation just because they’re presumed to be working fewer hours. “They go home, they spend time with their families, they get the kids to bed, and then they’re online until 2 in the morning, working,” Ciraolo said. There’s no reason the firm should pay them less, she said.
Ciraolo acknowledged that she has received some pushback from attorneys who want the option not to work until 2 a.m. “I always let people know that I support them with whatever choice they make, and I think if you’re at the right firm, you’ll find that,” she said.
Ciraolo finished college with a finance degree and said she naturally gravitated toward tax in law school. She had high praise for the progress and support among women in the field of tax controversy over the course of her career. “I really can’t imagine a young woman coming out of law school looking at tax or tax controversy and saying, ‘It doesn’t seem like I would be welcome in that area.’ I think it would be the exact opposite,” she said.
“Clients are standing up and letting us know that they want diversity in their firm,” they want to see themselves in the firm that’s going to represent them, Ciraolo said. “It is critical for clients that you show them that you value what they value,” she said.
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