A groundbreaking scheme designed by a magic circle firm to help retain female lawyers has attracted more men than women, it has emerged.
Linklaters in Germany introduced the YourLink scheme three years ago to a great fanfare. In return for a substantial pay cut, YourLink enables all full-time lawyers to fix their hours – to an average of 40 per week – and gives them flexibility over when to work.
Of 20 lawyers to have signed up so far, seven are female and 13 male.
Linklaters said 12 of its lawyers swapped into the scheme while eight joined it on starting at the firm.
YourLink lawyers are not eligible for partnership, but they can opt to withdraw from the scheme and return to the partner track.
The revelation comes as leading firms across Europe and elsewhere struggle to retain women and promote them to senior roles, despite many claiming to make concerted efforts to do so. The International Bar Association is planning new research to identify the gender equality schemes which get the best results.
Read this week’s feature, An uphill battle.