Diversity still a distant dream

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  • Regarding the male/female differences, this is the result of inherent differences between the sexes, not least that a large proportion of women cease to be interested in career progression once married and particularly once they have children.
    And what exactly is wrong with white males, a group responsible for the overwhelming number of scientific, industrial, cultural and technological achievements of the past 500 years.
    Political correctness = myopia and propaganda.

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  • Dear Anon at 12.01pm - you must be confused... this is not the Daily Mail.

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  • A polite response is "tosh".

    I don't believe that the majority of female lawyers cease to be interested in career progression once married and with children. I am married and have children and I am interested in progession and so are the majority of my friends. We didn't waste time studying and moving up the ladder to throw it all away just because we have a husband and children.

    However, one of the reasons many women appear to take their foot off the pedal and accept that progression to partnership is not for them is that they do not believe that their firm will promote them, particularly where there firm does not look kindly on flexible or part -time work or they do not see any female role models who have made the work/life balance fit with being a partner or indeed where there have few female partners at all.

    Time and time again I am told by friends at big firms that their only female partners either have no kids or work all hours and never see their kids and that is not what they want.

    Law firms have to shape up and do more to keep their women and to support their women. After all, we all have long careers in front of us these days. It's crazy to lose good lawyers because you refuse to support your people make work fit with the rest of their commitments.

    If your firm is flexible and treats you like a grown up and supports you, whilst not getting in the way of client services, then that loyalty will be rewarded.

    Whether you agree with promoting diversity or not, from a business point of view it makes absolute sense - there is no point spending lots of money on training female trainees if they do not progress and having a diverse workforce is what clients expect (many of whom are streets ahead of firms) and you can lose points on pitches if you are not diverse in your bid team.

    Anyway, I hope that this makes firm act (as well as simply tick boxes when it comes to diversity)

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  • hard work is the only key to success.

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  • Having worked in big law firms for the last 10 years or so, I would say that women with children are often more motivated to work hard and to achieve but also feel as though they have to be seen to achieve on a daily basis.
    Female members of my team regularly get through more work in core hours - with client satisfaction at least as good if not better - than male colleagues who are not under pressure to finish on time to collect children from school/nursery (and so are still there doing the same work in the evenings....)
    It seems crazy not to recognise or reward women who 'work smarter.'
    It is a shame that some people still think women lose interest in work and careers once they have children. We have worked hard to make careers that many of our mothers' generation were simply unable to have.

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  • The real issues are that law firms need lots of junior lawyers and far fewer partners and that by and large hourly billing is still prevalent and does not reward efficieny. Firms need a large proportion of lawyers to not progress to partnership and they have a large pool of people to draw on, so it is not worth the effort accommodating flexible working etc. For all the talk of wanting the best talent, the reality is that most lawyers are good enough to make partner, therefore you need to use other grounds to weed people out. Plus its about power and the ruling group are not going to give it up without a fight.

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