A&O teaches female associates to communicate

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  • less women make partner than men.

    Law firm asks why?

    Gets answer that it 's womens fault.

    It puts women on training course - now the firm feels better that it doesnt promote women.


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  • Hmmm ... it would be interesting to know how this idea emerged and what A and O were trying to achieve. I felt a surge of joy earlier in the year when I heard that the A&O managing partner was asking the question 'how can we motivate women?' - not everyone is motivated by the same things. I suspect that while what is needed is a wider range of motivators, beyond money and position, and that both men and women would appreciate more range. This training offer might be part of addressing that issue.
    What demotivates women is being expected to behave like men. The social pressure to match the male model is bad enough but within the professions it is even worse. Indeed, the first wave of women to reach partnerships in the law seem to have cracked this absolutely and are more often single, childless and divorced than other women. In the USA these women even have documented higher levels of testosterone than their male counterparts. I have heard senior women partners say that they recognised they need to tone down because they were scarring their male counterparts. It seems to me that we have learned a bit about the benefits of a more diverse work place since then. Perhaps men would benefit from learning more about how mena and women communicate?
    More of A&O's clients are women because women move into inhouse positions (as a retreat from the male dominated world of private practice) so what reason could there be to believe that training private practice women solicitors to communicate like men?
    I hope all this has been distorted in transmission and that what A&O are really doing is trying to improve the communication skills of all their people to meet the needs of the business. The reports appear to be that younger men and women (not the senior associates targeted apparently by this training) are pretty unimpressed by gender focussed training. The men, children of my generation, are also less likely to want to meet the old male paradigm. Readers may be interested in the work of Richard Collier (University of Newcastle) in this field. Young men wanted to be a real presence in their children's lives and not the 'office slaves' their own fathers were in the 1980's and 1990's.
    It would be great if A&O could tell us more about this intiative.

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  • What a bunch of uptight sexist, class warrior wingers you are!

    I am not a city lawyer ( I do enjoy handing them their heads when they come to play in the 'provinces') but these comment show more about the prejudices of the poster rather than A & O's.

    Did it occur to any of you that these courses were apparently organised by the HR people. This is the worlds single most FEMALE dominated profession.

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