I am delighted that my research is featured on the First 100 Years website, celebrating 100 years of women in law: https://bit.ly/2WbwuLY. I hope that my findings will inspire individuals and firms to shape the future for all those who work in law. In the top 10 UK law firms, according to PwC’s Annual Law Firm’s survey, the proportion of female full equity partners in 2019 was 20.4% (2012: 15.6%). Ominously, over the same period, the percentage in the top 11-25 firms has dropped from 18.7% to 18.1%, although it is positive that law firms continue to recruit more women than men as trainees.
This is about culture change, not just in law firms, but generally in society. It needs to be normal for both parents to share parental leave, and so for women who opt to return to work soon after the birth of their child not to be judged negatively for their choices.
Female role models in senior positions are important so that other women know from their stories that leadership is achievable. Most of my interviewees would have liked earlier career interventions to help them think through their options. In my executive coaching work, coachees who approach me are often at that stage. If only more organisations would intervene earlier too!