As International Women’s Day is celebrated across the world, the Law Society has teamed up with City firm Bates Wells to produce a practical toolkit for achieving greater gender equality and representation within the profession, particularly at senior levels.
A survey of more than 300 respondents across six continents found that women in law still face significant barriers to career progression, such as unconscious bias, unequal pay, a lack of support when speaking out about sexual harassment in the workplace, and juggling caring and work responsibilities.
The toolkit contains advice on how to set up gender equality initiatives and organisations, and provides details of existing groups across different jurisdictions.
Melanie Carter, partner at Bates Wells, led the research and co-authored the report. She said: ‘In some countries, the women we interviewed were working with few resources and in some cases in the face of outright hostility. Even in this situation, there are inspiring models to follow and great ideas for how to organise.’
Carter said she hoped the report will be a ‘go-to resource’ for women lawyers who want to put together support initiatives.