Women in Law pledge launched to improve gender equality in legal jobs
The Law Society, the Bar Council of England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) have launched the Women in Law pledge to tackle the issue of gender equality within the legal profession.
All legal service providers are being encouraged to sign up to the pledge as a commitment to change – and as “a vital stepping stone in achieving impactful progress for equality for all”.
The pledge shows a commitment to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the profession, by focusing on retention and promotion opportunities – and setting clear plans and targets around gender equality and diversity in organisations.
Firms and organisations will be expected to publish an action plan and publicly reporting on progress towards achieving the goals they set.
The pledge was launched on 20 June and is supported by the Justice Secretary David Gauke.
Law firms, local law societies, barristers' chambers and organisations outside the legal sector will be invited to sign their name to the pledge.
Justice Secretary David Gauke said:
“We know that a more balanced workforce is good for business and the wellbeing of organisations – I already see this first-hand at the Ministry of Justice, at which forty-eight percent of senior positions are filled by women committed to public service.
“It is only by working together that we will improve equality and diversity – and I encourage all law firms and others to sign the pledge and ensure there is equal opportunity at all levels.”
Law Society president Christina Blacklaws added:
“As a profession which strives to uphold justice, the legal profession must be at the forefront of the fight for gender equality and diversity in the workplace.
“In signing the Women in Law pledge, legal organisations across the country will hold themselves accountable for gender equality in their workforce and commit to creating a more diverse profession.”
Chair of the Bar Council, Richard Atkins QC, also said:
“This pledge reflects the joint understanding between the legal professions of the importance of diversity. It will allow chambers and organisations in which barristers work to demonstrate their commitment to a balanced and equal future for all.
“It is an important step forward in the drive for equality, which the Bar Council is proud to support.”
CILEx president Philip Sherwood also added:
“While record numbers of women are entering the legal profession, there are still too few making it into senior positions – seventy-five percent of CILEx members are women and representing their interests and removing barriers to progression is one of our key aims.
“We would like to encourage legal organisations to play their part in improving the diversity of our profession at all levels by signing the Women in Law pledge and committing to make the changes needed to support and promote gender equality.”
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