Rule of law

International Women in Law

Our International Women in Law programme aims to ensure greater equality for female lawyers in the legal sector globally.

We carry out research and publish reports to help steer our approach to supporting aspiring and qualified lawyers to progress in their careers free from stigma, exclusion and violence.

We’ve held International Women in Law roundtables in over 40 different jurisdictions.

Our International Women in Law Core Group meets quarterly to discuss key developments, and we work closely with Law Society office holders on projects.

Combined with other initiatives, such as training and public awareness campaigns, we hope to create the conditions for long-term change to end gender inequality in the legal sector.

Our aims

The programme aims to increase gender equality within the legal profession in a consistent, systematic and structured way, by creating solidarity links and collaborating on projects globally.

It also aims to promote greater participation and leadership of women in the sector and generate good practices that can be shared with other sectors experiencing similar challenges.

What we’re doing

We launched our practical toolkit for women in law, researched and written in conjunction with Bates Wells.

The joint report:

  • reinforces the findings of the 2019 report that there are still considerable challenges for women’s progression in the legal profession
  • suggests a series of activities that can help strengthen the work of organisations to support women in the law

This report was researched and written under extraordinary circumstances created by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

We launched a joint report from our International Women in Law roundtables in South Africa in collaboration with Women In Law South Africa and Angeli Arora.

We spoke at the American Bar Association Society of International Law (ABA-SIL) for the Empowering Women in the Legal Profession programme.

We held our first International Women in Law roundtable in Costa Rica alongside regional law firm BLP, where we shared the findings of our international women’s roundtables.

We also presented the International Women in Law programme and the Advocating for Change report to the OECD’s Friends of Gender Equality Group.

We carried out a scoping mission for the Business Environment in China project, where we met with key stakeholders in Shanghai and Beijing. The project will run for three years and is made up of five elements, including women in law.

We assisted with the second and third International Women in Law roundtables in Port Elizabeth and Durban (South Africa).

We undertook the first International Women in Law roundtable in Poland in conjunction with the Krakow Bar Association.

We supported with the running of the first International Women in Law roundtable in Cape Town (South Africa). With 20 participants, the discussions were very fruitful and ended with participants committed to running their own roundtables.

We published the findings from our international women’s roundtables as part of our wider report Advocating for Change: Transforming the Future for the Legal Profession Through Greater Gender Equality.

We undertook a mission to Croatia to meet with a wide range of stakeholders and hold an International Women in Law roundtable.

We published a report summarising the findings from our England and Wales men-only roundtables. The participating male leaders made recommendations to tackle gender imbalance.

We sent a delegation to the UN’s 63rd Commission on the Status of Women, where we delivered two International Women in Law roundtables and attended networking events.

We published a literature review as part of the Women in Leadership in Law project that reviewed empirical and theoretical studies on women in law in the UK and abroad.

We published the results of our global survey on issues affecting women lawyers.

We attended the #HeforShe seminar organised by UN Women and hosted by Linklaters.

We carried out a global quantitative survey on issues affecting women in the law with the support of LexisNexis and the International Bar Association.

Get involved

Download the Women in Leadership in Law toolkit

Download the Male Champions for Change toolkit

Find out how to host your own roundtable

Follow us on Twitter @LSHumanRights

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