Only a third of large firms who are signed up to a Law Society diversity charter – including three-quarters of the top-100 – have adopted flexible working, which helps explain why their partnerships remain “overwhelmingly white, heterosexual, male and able bodied”, the society’s president has complained.
Law firms should introduce targets to increase the representation of women lawyers in partnership and senior roles, and turn talk of flexible working into reality, a major new report has recommended, with the Law Society president saying that if career progression was based on pure merit, some senior partners would have got nowhere near the top.
Mahy: something that somebody should have thought of before
Using ex-City lawyer parents looking to return to practice is a way for in-house lawyers and law firms to onshore services that many people are saying should be offshored, a former FTSE 100 general counsel said this week.
Focus on what women lawyers do – not the hours they work – to avoid "female brain drain", says survey
Flexible working combined with performance metrics that are not linked to hours in the office are needed to prevent a “female brain drain” from the legal profession, it was claimed today. A survey of 1,144 women lawyers around the world even found some support for quotas as a way to achieve gender diversity.
The Law Society is to launch a campaign aimed at moving flexible working – for both women and men – “into the mainstream of employment practice in law practices”. It has identified “buy-in” at senior partner level as the key challenge.
The Law Society could encourage firms to undertake annual pay audits as a way to combat inequality in the solicitors’ profession, we can reveal. It comes as Chancery Lane prepares to publish a flexible working protocol to help law firms embrace the concept.