A Promising Pledge: The Lord Chancellor supports the recent pledge to achieve gender equality in the legal sector

June 20, 2019

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1 min read

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What's going on here?

The Lord Chancellor has supported law firms’ pledge to promote gender equality.

What does this mean?

The major legal regulatory bodies, such as the Law Society, the Bar Council and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, have drafted a “women in law” pledge which, if signed, sets specific gender targets for law firms to meet. These targets include achieving gender targets at leadership level, commit to tackling sex discrimination, ensure specific aspects of pay and to develop an overall action plan to achieve gender equality. Lord Chancellor David Gauke has recently backed the pledge, stating “a more balanced workforce is good for business and the wellbeing of organisations”.

What's the big picture effect?

This is yet another step in the right direction towards gender equality in the legal sector. It sets out concrete targets for law firms to meet. These objectives can be measured and firms can be held to account, or at the very least their reputation will be at stake if they fail to fulfil obligations they have signed up to, if they are not met. However, signing the pledge is optional and so it will be down to firms to take the initiative to sign.

Having said this, the support for the pledge, coming both from the regulatory bodies and more recently the Lord Chancellor, shows that the legal sector is slowly addressing gender equality. Indeed, in the last year 62% of all new solicitors were women which clearly shows law is stepping in the right direction. Although only 30% of new partners were women, highlighting that there is still some work to do, initiatives like the women in law pledge will continue to ensure law achieves gender equality.

Report written by Connor B

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