Categories:London,Scotland

Linklaters becomes first magic circle firm to set gender diversity targets

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  • A+O's looking striking out of line on this isn't it? Why's it so reluctant to realise that it has to bring its practices in line with encouraging women through to partnership and beyond?

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  • Not so. Read carefully and you'll see that Linklaters' 'target' is 30% of *new* partners. A&O's 'target' is 20% of *all* partners. Will take Linklaters at least another decade for those new female superstars to make much of a dent in the overall numbers (with the added benefit for the crusty old men at the top of the tree that they don't need to (further) fear getting pushed out to make way for them).

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  • They'd better take care of work-life balance of their employees.

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  • So the diversity initiative is supposed to attract and retain the best talent. And don't miss the catch words - bad gender demographics doesn't make good business sense

    If the diversity initiative led to better business, then, logically speaking, why not have "targets" to be equally representative of our business demographics - that would attract even more talent and better business, right?

    I think Linklaters is missing a point. The fact is that it is looking for a "certain" type of talent who do better business - so targeting that talent would be better than targeting women or other denominations.

    And while I don't think I disagree that law firms like Linklaters need more women to take a greater participation in leadership roles, would the "targeting" mean that women who would otherwise not made to the top will make it now.

    If you still didn't get my point, "targeting" is the wrong approach. Having a gender-sensitive and gender-neutral law firm should be the target and then letting the women and men slug it out.

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  • Celyn, I do believe they have been slugging it out for a while now and the score is 15% to the women and 85% to the men. So, to turn your proposition around on its head and consider that if it were a gender neutral environment, would it really result in that kind of disparity at the top? If 62% of law entrants are female and only 15% make it to the top...you have to examine what's going wrong. There's a lot going wrong but the easiest way to change things is to create targets to drive behaviour. One of the biggest barriers to changing it is to resist targets because you think they're sexist.

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  • It's a shame that they didn't set further targets to take them to the 50% of all partners being female as this is the only way to reach true parity. I bet the 30% will now be the final measure and they will clap themselves on the back for achieving it.. not good enough in my eyes.

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