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Professions must unite to attain global gender equality

19 June 2019

Professional bodies around the world have a key role in achieving global gender equality in the law, the Law Society of England and Wales said today as it launched its international women in law report.

“In jurisdictions across the globe, female lawyers are experiencing significant barriers to progression and are struggling to reach senior leadership roles in equal numbers to men,” said Law Society president Christina Blacklaws.

The report identifies unequal remuneration, a lack of flexible working and traditional gender roles and stereotypes as some of the key challenges faced by female lawyers internationally.

“Whilst female lawyers around the world face many of the same key challenges, women in some countries also face laws which perpetuate gender inequality in the workplace,” said Christina Blacklaws.

“For example, in some jurisdictions it is legal to avoid hiring pregnant women – making it much more difficult for working mothers to progress.

“As a profession which strives to uphold justice, the legal profession must be at the forefront of the fight for gender equality.

“Bar associations, law firms and law societies across the world will be key in encouraging their members to adopt policies which tackle gender inequality and help create a more diverse, inclusive profession.”

On 20 June, the Law Society and other professional bodies will launch the Women in Law pledge at the Law Society’s international symposium on gender equality.

“In signing the pledge, organisations will hold themselves accountable for driving gender equality in their workforce and helping to create a more diverse profession – both in the UK and globally,” said Christina Blacklaws.

Notes to editors

Read the full Advocating for Change: Transforming the Future of the Legal Profession Through Greater Gender Equality report.

For an embargoed copy of the Women in Law pledge or copy of our embargoed press release on the pledge please email emma.clarke@lawsociety.org.uk  

Visit The power of gender equality to transform the business of law: an international symposium webpage for more information and a full programme of events.

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Emma Clarke | emma.clarke@lawsociety.org.uk | 020 8049 3743