International women in law: findings from the international women’s roundtables

Overcoming the barriers that prevent women from entering and progressing in law is an imperative for the future of the profession. This research aims to complement the largest quantitative global survey on women in the law we carried out between November 2017 and January 2018.

The legal sector will not be able to provide suitable responses to gender inequality without first having a deep understanding of the global barriers that limit the career progression of female lawyers.

Political will and strong commitment from all relevant stakeholders, including firms, businesses, clients, bar associations and law societies, are also essential components to success.

To begin with, obtaining the necessary quantitative and qualitative research is critical.

The information from the International Women in Law (IWIL) roundtables was gathered between July 2018 and April 2019 from 34 international roundtables held in 21 cities, across 18 jurisdictions and with the participation of 712 female lawyers.

The IWIL roundtable participants were at different stages in their careers, showcasing the wide range of experiences of female lawyers worldwide.

Despite a few contextual differences, this report demonstrates that the challenges and experiences of female lawyers are very similar across the globe.

Some key issues include:

  • traditional gender roles and stereotypes
  • gender pay gap
  • flexible working

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