Survey Says…Long, Winding Road To Partnership

Hard and satisfying work, coupled with long hours and financial rewards, are the hallmarks of a career as an equity partner. While not everyone in the firm wants to or can become a partner, for those who strive to do so, two questions come to mind: “Is there an opportunity here?” and “How long will I have to wait for the opportunity?”

For fiscal year-end 2012-13, one of every three people who were admitted to equity partnership came in as lateral hires. At best, only two out of every three openings were available to “home-grown” seasoned staff/managers.

Additionally, 87% of firms indicated the path from entry-level staff to equity partnership to be at least 10 years, 60% expect at least 12 years, and 23% expect the wait to be at least 15 years.

For women looking to become partner, the survey shows that on average, regardless of whether they are in an IPA 100 firm or a smaller firm, five out of six owners are male, and that number hasn’t changed dramatically over the years.