Wragge sets female partnership targets

Topics: Equality and diversity

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International firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co has become the latest major law firm to set a target figure for women in the partnership.

The firm today announced a commitment to increase the number of women in its global partnership to 30% by 2026. It aims to reach 25% by 2021.

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At present a fifth of the UK-based firm’s partners are female, which rises to 50% at director level and more than 55% at principal associate, senior associate and associate levels.

The firm says that it took part in the 30% Club’s ‘talent survey’ and examined its turnover, promotion, maternity returners and pipeline figures from a gender perspective.

The 30% Club was set up in 2010 with the goal of attaining 30% women on the boards of FTSE-100 companies within five years.

Members of the club include magic circle and City firms such as Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters.

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co’s chairman and diversity champion Andrew Witts (pictured) said it had a ‘real responsibility’ to its people and its clients to promote ‘all forms’ of diversity.

In 2011 it established a More Women programme, with initiatives such as unconscious bias training, maternity coaching and agile working.

Witts said adopting gender targets was ‘another important way in which we hope to lead by example, not just in the UK, but across all jurisdictions in which we work’.

The firm also announced that members of the commercial litigation team will be ‘encouraged’ to work one day per fortnight from home. There will also be ‘a more robust’ mentoring programme and further training on unconscious bias.

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co will ‘combine’ with Canadian-headquartered firm Gowlings this year.

The announcement states that Gowling WLG will have more than 1,400 legal professionals across 18 cities in Canada, the UK, Europe Asia and the Middle East.

More than a quarter of Gowlings’ partners are female. More than half of its offices across Canada are led by female managing partners.

Readers' comments (5)

  • If being committed and good at your job but male wont get you there...cut off your tackle and you'll soon get in to meet the quota.

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  • I used to work at a firm where one of the male solicitors decided to undergo a gender reassignement (to use the latest terminology). And no, it wasn't Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co.!

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  • More partners with no client followings - certainly the way forward - to oblivion.

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  • If I was a client of that firm I think I would prefer to instruct a male partner there as I would know that they had become a partner due to their talent (rather than due to a need to fulfill targets). However expressing such a view to the firm might appear inappropriate so probably easier to switch to another firm.

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  • Sometime down the road a firm doing this will get taken to the cleaners by a man with a strong case that he had a better claim to partnership than a woman who got it. And it will serve that firm right.

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