Solicitors are not in favour of seeing quotas being introduced, according to the latest study on gender in the legal sector.
When asked if quotas should be brought in, 26% of London lawyers responded ‘definitely not’ to legal recruiter Cogence Search’s survey. Nearly a third (30%) said ‘probably not’.
Only 9% thought quotas should ‘definitely’ be introduced.
The legal profession did not have enough female role models, nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents said.
Over a fifth (21%) of respondents thought there were ‘definitely’ gender-specific barriers to promotion within their organisation. Nearly a quarter (23%) thought there were ‘probably’ barriers; 20% thought there were ‘definitely not’ any at their firms.
When asked what should be done to help gender and career progression, suggestions included ’blind’ recruitment and rigorous processes for promotions ’to counteract inherent bias against anyone who isn’t male, white and from a public school background’.
Another respondent called for ‘more honest conversations about ambitions so that managers know how best to assist with making the profession suitable for the career women want… I think a lot of the initiatives at my firm are a bit “one-size fits all women” and make assumptions that don’t apply to all women in the firm’.
The report, which received responses from around 370 people, is one of several developments in the debate on gender inequality in the profession.
Earlier this month the London School of Economics commission recommended that quotas backed by legislation be introduced to tackle gender inequality.
Yesterday the Davies review published a government-backed report calling for a third of all board seats at Britain’s biggest listed companies to be held by women by 2020.