The rise of ladies in regulation

In honour of Worldwide Ladies’s Day, on the weblog, we have a look at the rise of ladies in regulation and the way the trade is altering to satisfy the fashionable lawyer’s wants, male or feminine.

And no article being written at present concerning the office couldn’t contact on the influence of the persevering with Covid-19 pandemic on how all of us work and have embraced versatile and distant working. 

Statistics launched in June 2019  revealed that for the primary time, the variety of working solicitors in England and Wales had exceeded that of males – now 50.1% up from 43.4% in 2007. *

So, is the age of the male-dominated regulation trade over?

When Rachel Roberts, Yorkshire Regional Director at Stowe Household Legislation, graduated, she started her profession with a powerful, feminine mentor so believed that “something appeared doable”. Actually, Rachel didn’t even think about her gender to

“have an effect till I had kids.”

Having kids and discovering steadiness is a wrestle many ladies in regulation face and is mirrored within the statistics once we have a look at seniority within the trade, with ladies making up simply 33% of companions within the UK (up from 31% in 2014). **

Instances have modified

Because the UK entered its first lockdown in March 2020, it’s estimated that just below 50% of the nation’s workforce shifted wholesale to working from dwelling. (ONS data). 

The Covid-19 pandemic has pressured modified and dramatically accelerated shifts that had been already underway when it comes to elevated working from dwelling and versatile hours.

What occurs as soon as the pandemic is over will differ from enterprise to enterprise. At Stowe, we consider our future options might want to prioritise flexibility and selection when it comes to how each colleagues and purchasers work together with us and entry companies.  

Whereas this can be simpler stated than executed, it’s the place our focus lies as we transfer ahead in 2021. With over 75% of our workforce wanting to mix dwelling and office-based working post-Covid-19, a hybrid mannequin providing flexibility and selection for our colleagues is on the coronary heart of how we’ll function as a agency.

“I’m fortunate to work for a agency that prioritises the well-being of its employees, and I work versatile hours in order that I can nonetheless do the college run three days per week and attend college occasions (when we’re not home-schooling)”, says Rachel. 

At present, over 50% of the management workforce and Managing Companions at Stowe work flexibly.

However it’s not simply concerning the agency’s leaders,

“I’m a terrific believer in trusting your workforce to handle their diaries, workloads and dealing from dwelling to permit them to satisfy their household commitments”, Rachel provides.

At Stowe, over 30% of the workforce has a versatile working sample, with numerous extra having fun with casual preparations agreed with their line supervisor. 

Rachel continues:

“For me, it’s about placing boundaries in place, so I’ll typically work from home within the night, however for the big half,  my weekends are a valuable time for us to spend as my household, and my work telephone is switched off or out of sight.”

Glass ceiling?

In 2017, Woman Justice Heather Hallett spoke of her hopes that there was no glass ceiling and that the regulation had modified significantly for the higher for ladies. A sentiment mirrored in the truth that 66% of all companions at Stowe and 70% of attorneys are feminine.

Household regulation tends to draw extra ladies, and it’s important that we discover methods to work round household commitments in order that we retain our expertise,” continues Rachel.

“I’ve not encountered any obstacles to progressing up the profession ladder as a result of I’m a girl, however I work at Stowe, and we’ve got numerous ladies in senior roles. I’m not certain how a lot flexibility there may be in bigger regulation corporations. I feel, sadly, that too typically the appropriate issues are stated, however the necessities on a daily foundation make it not possible for ladies to advance of their careers and steadiness having a household.”

Her recommendation to ladies contemplating getting into regulation now could be easy:

“There isn’t any restrict to what you possibly can obtain. The tradition is altering, though, in massive corporations, it has an extended strategy to go. So, become involved with organisations that care about retaining ladies in apply and deal with well-being.”

“Nonetheless, the entire sector now wants to vary – males equally want to have the ability to have a wholesome work-life steadiness and spend high quality time with their family and friends.”

Maybe a constructive end result of the Covid-19 pandemic will probably be a continued uptake of versatile working, tailor-made for each men and women to allow them to get pleasure from a constructive work-life steadiness. 

Rachel is the Yorkshire Regional Director at Stowe Family Law. She can be an envoy for Women in the Law, a non-profit ladies’s networking organisation designed to encourage, encourage and assist the following era of attorneys and girls in enterprise.

Get in contact

Find out more about a career in family law at Stowe Family Law. 

*Legislation Society Annual Statistics Report 

**Solicitors Regulation Authority