When I joined the UK Legal 500 a year ago, one of the main ambitions I set out was to improve diversity in our rankings and, in particular, the proportion of cited women. The reason was obvious – women are under-represented at senior levels in law firms and this has also historically been the case in many of our rankings.
Unconscious bias has long served as a barrier to entry for many talented female lawyers who were in many instances not being put forward for recognition, either by their firms or peers. However, with diversity increasingly on law firms’ agenda it was important for us to play our part by raising the profile of talented female lawyers who may otherwise have gone unmentioned in our research. Continue reading “Comment: Women in The Legal 500 – A step in the right direction but we need your help”
Alex Novarese, Legal Business: Tracey, shall we talk about the background of the All Rise project?
Tracey Dovaston, Barclays: We realised we had an opportunity as part of Barclays’ panel process to make some of our expectations on diversity measurable. We set out the expectations of our panel firms, which include that diverse teams work on Barclays matters. We encourage panel firms to recommend diverse teams at the tender stage and that those teams then work on the matter. We want to be introduced to people other than those we have been working with for many years. Continue reading “Gender diversity debate: Quantum of equality”
Slaughter and May has published its first partner-level pay gap report, revealing that male partners earn on average 8.9% more than their female counterparts.
Including all employees, the figures remained flat from 2017, with the mean pay gap between men and women standing at 14.4% and the median gap steady at 38.7%. Continue reading “Slaughters becomes latest to reveal underwhelming gender and ethnicity pay gap”
Building on last year’s cover feature on the City’s star female deal counsel, Legal Business teamed up with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for a reception celebrating the strides made… and steps still to be taken. The 80 senior lawyers across in-house and private practice that gathered at The Ned in late November heard from a panel of general counsel (GCs) and partners talking frankly about careers, life and changing aspirations.
Natasha Good, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer: I was going to ask our panellists to start by telling us about the challenges they have faced on their career journeys. Continue reading “The Women in Law debate: The challenge of you”
When high-profile GCs still talk of being mistaken for a PA (as BT’s Sabine Chalmers was not that long ago), it’s a reminder of how much more progress needs to be made to clear the path to the top for women in law.
Yes, there has been improvement over the last ten years. According to the panel of female partners and in-house speakers taking part in last month’s Legal Business/Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer reception championing women in law, the grip of the boy’s club in the City is loosening. Slowly. Continue reading “Comment: Women redefining City law – a few teachable moments and the odd necessary evil”
Reed Smith has dismissed a partner in its London office after a complaint of sexual harassment, it has emerged. Originally reported on RollonFriday, the unnamed partner was accused of sexually harassing a junior female trainee, though the nature of the incident has not been clarified.
The episode has just emerged but the partner was dismissed in late 2017. In a statement, Reed Smith commented: ‘As soon as we became aware of this incident, which took place over a year ago, we took swift and appropriate action. The safety and well-being of all of our colleagues matter greatly to us, and we are committed to providing a positive and professional workplace for all our people.’ Continue reading “Latest #MeToo episode emerges as Reed Smith dismisses partner following complaint”
Rankings, by definition, are never going to please everyone (nor should they). But, as the new UK editor of The Legal 500, there’s one issue in particular that I see as an area to progress: diversity.
Women make up more than half of those entering the profession, in general far less than 30% of firms’ partnerships and – for some core areas – they struggle to get recognition in the industry from peers and, yes, the legal publishing sector in general. Continue reading “The Legal 500 view: We’ll be championing women but we need your help”
The Law Society has called for uniformity in law firms’ gender pay gap reporting in a bid to ‘get ahead of the curve’ of what has proven a sluggish pace in tackling gender pay disparities.
The Law Society’s recommendations for a common set of standards were published as part of a guidance document today (6 November), with the standout focus being on how partner remuneration is included in gender pay gap reporting. Continue reading “Law Society pushes firms for increased transparency on partner pay gaps”
In another stark example of the disparity in the treatment of men and women within City law, Macfarlanes has revealed an average gender pay gap of 55% at partner level.
On a median income basis, the gap between the firm’s male and female partners is even higher: a stark 73%. A key factor making this gulf so pronounced is the feeble female representation in its partnership ranks: in the 2017/18 financial year just 12 of Macfarlanes’ 85 partners were female. Continue reading “Macfarlanes holds hands up to significant gender pay gap at partner level”
Allen & Overy’s (A&O) response to criticism over its failure to disclose the pay gap between male and female partners has revealed slow progress on a par with its Magic Circle peers.
The UK pay gap report for 2018, published today (6 September), for the first time includes the disparity between A&O’s female and male partnership and reveals men at the firm are overall paid on average 61.2% more than women. When taken on a median basis, the 2018 disparity is reduced to 39%. Continue reading “A&O matches Magic Circle’s sluggish gender pay gap progress after finally releasing partner pay stats”