The recent survey results from Douglas Scott, showing that fewer women than men aspire to senior roles in the legal profession, are worrying - particularly as the most up-to-date entry statistics from the Law Society show women outnumbering men at undergraduate, trainee and new admission levels.
There is no doubt that partnership is demanding, requiring the building up of a loyal client base, the ability to manage people and good business sense. However, arguably with good training in place, any lawyer can become more effective with the result that stress levels are reduced and more is achieved in a shorter space of time meaning hours of wasted time in the office are reduced. Partnership can be a rewarding and fulfilling role for the very best in the profession although the traditional image of partnership may well put off those who value a better work/life balance or have family commitments. Only with more women in positions like this will the role be able to adapt to offer more flexible working solutions better suited to modern ways of working and lifestyles.
CLT offers a practical course for those looking to further their career and we would encourage all lawyers to join us and see if partnership is for you: http://www.clt.co.uk/course/preparing-for-partnership/
Legal recruitment firm Douglas Scott polled almost 3,000 people, 82% of them solicitors and 11% members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. Nearly two-thirds of respondents were women and most were aged 25-35. The survey, now in its sixth year, found that more than 70% were ambitious to make partner or business leader. More than a third believed this was possible with their current employer, a steady rise of 13% over the past four years. However, the gender imbalance within ambition for partnership was marked. While 79% of men aspired to senior roles, the same was true of just 66% of women. Meanwhile, more than 40% of women cited stress or work/life balance as the reason for not choosing the partnership route, compared with 20% of men.