The need for gender equality in the legal profession

Women have made up over half of practising solicitors since 2018, but the profession continues to be led predominantly by men. Around the globe, the senior levels of law firms do not truly reflect the reality of a profession with a significant female majority at the point of entry.

The Women in Leadership in Law project aims to:

  • provide a solid foundation of qualitative evidence about the position of women in law
  • raise awareness of the challenges we face in tackling inequality and promoting creative solutions
  • empower women to bring about change and become leaders in their organisations
  • channel the support of male champions for change

To better understand the issues that affect women working in law, we ran a survey from November 2017 to January 2018.

We captured 7,781 responses from women and men.

Using these findings, we hosted – or supported members to host – 225 roundtable discussions around the world with women from across the legal profession.

Roundtable discussions

The people who took part in the roundtable discussions were asked to focus on the key issues identified in the survey:

  • unconscious bias
  • the gender pay gap
  • flexible working

They also considered examples of best practice that can help women overcome the barriers to progression.

This report includes the top findings of the women's roundtables and includes extracts from the comprehensive international literature review of the research we commissioned.

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