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The Women in Law Literature Review

14 March 2019

The Women in Law Literature Review is part of our Women in Leadership in the Law project.

The review focuses on studies about women lawyers to answer the questions:

  • to what extent have women solicitors reached a position of equality within the profession?
  • to the extent that they have not, why not and what can be done to remedy the inequality?

The first section summarises 20 key studies with information about who conducted the study, how and why, and key findings.

The second section examines themes emerging from the studies with analysis on:

  • the representation of women in law and barriers to equal representation
  • parenthood and its impact on careers.
  • work/life balance and its implications for women in law
  • unconscious bias
  • equal pay
  • workplace culture
  • the impact of change in the profession
  • best diversity practice to improve female representation

We conclude with a consideration of the work still to be done to reach gender equality in the profession, for example tackling:

  • subtle forms of discrimination
  • long-hours culture
  • presenteeism