A decal on the cover of the new issue of Toronto Life calls it “the case dividing Bay Street”: it’s Diane LaCalamita’s $12-million discrimination suit against McCarthys. If the fires the case lit when it first made headlines are smouldering now, the lengthy feature by Kelly Pullen running in the mag is sure to stoke them once again.
The article details the history of LaCalamita’s practice — at McCarthys and at her previous firms, Deeth, Williams, Wall and Aird & Berlis — and describes her perspective on the sequence of events that led to her downfall at the Seven Sisters powerhouse.
As you might expect, the piece also examines the key factors that most experts agree are causing women to exit the legal profession at a faster rate than men, and hypothesizes the root cause of the ongoing disparity is the fact that firms are trying to “accommodate” women within the existing, male-dominated structure. Pullen writes:
Many associates find the initiatives instituted by firms — women’s lunches or other mentoring exercises — to be hollow or, as one woman put it, “glorified referral services” in which the senior partners dole out advice on how to outsource your life: who can tutor your kids or make your dinners or pick up your dry cleaning.
The article finishes with an update, provided by her friends, on what LaCalamita is doing now: living with her parents, and applying to the British bar because, Pullen writes, “she figures she’ll never be hired in this town again.”
We got our subscription copy of the mag today, so it should be on the newsstand very soon. Keep your eye out for it, and let us know what you think.