Many female female solicitors feel they have been discriminated against at various points throughout their career. A survey by the Law gazette stated that 34% of women had faced some discrimination compared to only 17% of men in the same profession.
Female lawyers surveyed gave examples of “blatant discrimination” – such as earning a lower salary than less experienced male colleagues and being made redundant while on maternity leave. Others said the profession was a ‘boys’ club’ which was hard to infiltrate and that networking events were geared towards men.
Some said that women were at a disadvantage because of an assumption that present or future family commitments would prevent them being able to commit as much time to the job as men.
One female former partner said:
“As an employment lawyer, I have to advise on flexible working and maternity rights, only to see them flouted in law firms and companies all the time.”
Law Society President, Linda Lee, said work was under way to develop practical support for women and their employers to tackle some of the issues raised.