Sherwood Consulting has carried out an online survey with woman lawyers to find out why so many talented women are leaving the profession.
We received 59 responses and here are the key findings:
- Only 30% are getting sufficient developmental feedback, suggesting that most don’t feel they’re learning enough and don’t know how their performance is perceived
- Only 34% has a mentor who is actively supporting them
- Only 32% of women feel there is someone in their firm who knows what they want to achieve in their careers and is helping to create opportunities for them
- Most firms don’t offer any female-specific training or personal development opportunities. Only 30% of firms do.
- Only 23% of the respondents thought their firm offered coaching support for those returning from a maternity break
- Only a quarter of the respondents thought their firms offered alternative career paths and some thought such roles were looked down on
- Only one in three felt that their firm’s agile/flexible working arrangements meant that they could work at home when they needed to
- 23% of women thought their firm had a fair and transparent process for work allocation, implying there was a predominant sense that men got the best work and best clients
- Similarly, less than 30% of respondents thought that the system for selecting teams for pitches for new work or new clients was fair and transparent
- Overall, 27% of women agreed with the statement that their firm was taking enough positive steps to encourage more women through to partnership, implying that most thought their firms weren’t doing enough!
Sherwood has interviewed partners in 28 firms to hear what approaches they are adopting on gender diversity. Here are our thoughts on what they said:
One wonders what firms need to do differently to make better progress. Any ideas?
If you are interested in completing the survey (takes 2 minutes and you can get a full set of results), click here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/F9ZFMD5
Sherwood is also happy to carry out a confidential survey with female lawyers in your firm so we can help diagnose what firms need to do differently to keep top female talent.