Law Society president proposes targets to get women into management

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  • This is utter nonsense. Many many firms are tackling more important matters at the moment, such as the end of legal aid. For the Law Soc to demand quotas is just stupid. We want the best person in the job be they female or male, we want the person who can help dig us out of this mess.

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  • The articles doesn't say anything about demanding quotas. It refers to recommending targets - which would presumably remain far less than would reflect the fact that women are a majority of those training as lawyers today.

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  • #2 - that's the point. The best person for the job should be promoted, whereas currently some positions are occupied by the mediocre

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  • We have great art in our board room at Trowers as appreciated by the 40 per cent of our board, 50% of our Executive and Senior Partner elect all of whom are women.

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  • Oh well done Trowers.
    I am over the moon at how well represented women are at your firm.
    How is the re-branding going Ms Gubbins or is Adlington still holding on so as to grab a few more pounds before he walks into the sunset?

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  • A law firm aims to make profit for the partnership. It is not difficult to see which associates are bringing in the most revenue and/or clients. This is an objective criteria. There will be many other criteria of course, but at the end of the day the partners will promote the person they think will help the firm make the most profit in the long run. Why would they care if that person is male or female? They have absolutely no incentive to promote a mediocre male over a talented female. If the talented female is expected to make more profit and wants to be partner, she will get the promotion. If anything, there is probably more incentive to promote a mediocre female to make the statistics look better.

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  • Capable women or mediocre men, it's time society realised and acknowledged the sacrifice, hardwork and selflessness involved in raising children. If everyone shunned the idea of bringing babies into the world, the world would be poorer for it and all those smart men would have to 'invent' future workforce to take over from them. Women who sacrifice their careers to have children should be promoted not penalised; being a mother does not make you less intelligent, rather you have contributed 'future profit'; you have given something of immense value to the world which a man could never do. That woman's contribution should be valued just as much, if not more.

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  • Its way more complicated than this as to why women are not at the top. Personally I do not agree with “quotas”. The reasons for the lack of female progression are to do with gender culture -law is a man’s world and a lot of women don’t know how to play the game in an acceptable way – and the rules are different for us. Plus obviously we have the large impact that having children has on a women’s decision/ability to try and progress post-children - women leave the profession in high numbers after having a couple of children.
    Cultural pressure: in UK society, if both parents “have” to work past the second child, you are the subject of pity (as in “he can’t be doing very well then, can they if they need two wages?”, “I don’t know how you do it” etc). Compare to Madrid and Paris where the opposite is true, ie, an educated woman having a number of children and holding down a successful full time job is something to be proud of (also note huge differences in cost and availability of home-help and childcare in UK compared to parts of Europe).
    Law firms are a male hierarchy and women can succeed but to do so is undoubtedly trickier. Women cannot just “act like a man” this backfires on those who do it. There is a more limited scope of acceptable business behaviours that apply to women and it requires acting in ways that are not always natural to the female ethos. Many women find the cultural/behavioural requirements they find thrust upon them while trying to progress frustrating and too difficult – it feels like double standards – so they quit just before it gets too hard (often in law firms this is at senior associate level, the “holding pen” for frustrated female talent). I would like to see more women “accepting” the way it is and getting on with it. And I would like to see more value placed on the sort of relationship maintenance, soft selling and “connecting” of networks that many women are naturally very good at.
    In my opinion quotas wont help but education (of both sexes) and talking about the cultural differences would – as would cheaper childcare and home-help like that available to many of our continental sisters (most English nannies would baulk at having to do any cleaning as well as childcare). Also you need a supportive husband – the one who pushes you forward rather than offers you a way out by staying at home.

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  • Anonymous 9.58am - "Women who sacrifice their careers to have children should be promoted not penalised" - What a pathetic statement! Why on earth should they be promoted. Yes, we all accept that women do sacrifice their career to have children, however, I do not believe this should warrant their automatic promotion. The best person for the job should get it; simple as that. Regarless of gender, race or religion! To recommend, that Firms increase women in senior positions on the basis of gender, seems to be a complete breach of The Equality Act!

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  • Anonymous 9.58am - "Women who sacrifice their careers to have children should be promoted not penalised" - Why sacrifice your career? You don't have to. If you have a husband or a civil partner they can look after the child whilst you work. For obvious reasons a male cannot give birth or breast feed, but you need not be out of work for more than 6-12 months and then your husband or civil partner can look after the child whilst you pursue your career. The issue is that society expects the female to stay at home, but you and your husband (or civil partner) don't have to do what society expects. You can do what you want and, as other posters have said, if you bring in more profit/clients than others you will get promoted to partner regardless of gender.

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