Although women comprise nearly half of all law students and incoming associates at law firms, and have done so for many years, they remain greatly outnumbered by men at senior levels. If nothing is done to change this trend, the percentage of women equity partners will remain under 20 percent for decades to come.
Slow progress in gender equality at senior roles raises awkward questions for the industry – and highlights the challenges that women lawyers face when developing their careers.
Indeed, at mid-career, when earnings peak, the top 10 percent of female lawyers earn more than $300,000 a year, while the top 10 percent of male lawyers earn more than $500,000. Coupled with this, the number of female equity partners at top US law firms has risen by only five percent in the last 12 years. Although women comprise 47 percent of associate ranks at law firms, female lawyers make up only 31 percent of those entering the equity partnership class.
This book is a primer – for women, by women – to help female lawyers progress their careers in an industry still struggling with gender equality.
Written by outstanding women lawyers in their respective fields, each contribution takes a personal and professional view of the legal sector, providing insight and analysis of issues as diverse as flexible working, portfolio careers, unconscious bias and the modern career trajectory.
The book is split into four sections, and begins with the results of original research undertaken by ARK Group in early 2019. Surveying nearly 100 women lawyers from across the globe, we asked women at all stages in their careers to open up about their experiences, from recruitment to retirement, and the challenges – and opportunities – that being female has brought. The results make for interesting, and perhaps surprising, reading.
Part 1: A woman’s world
Chapter 1: Introduction, ARK Group
Chapter 2: The gender pay gap
By Susan Eandi and Monica Kurnatowska, partners, Baker McKenzie
Chapter 3: Being a woman in a woman’s world
By Joanne Frears and Belinda Lester, Lionshead Law
Part 2: Making your mark
Chapter 4: Framing your career and designing an effective job search
By Debbie Epstein Henry, Founder, DEH Consulting, Speaking, Writing; co-founder, Bliss Lawyers
Chapter 5: The branded lawyer – professional development through confident brand-building
By Nika Kabiri, VP, Lux insights
Chapter 6: Blurring the professional and the personal – relationship building
By Karen Johnson-McKewan, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Chapter 7: The power of maximizing your strategic network
By Christie Guimond, corporate development manager, Bird & Bird
Chapter 8: Executive presence to advance career success
By Susan Saltonstall Duncan, Rainmaking Oasis
Part 3: Making your career work for you
Chapter 9: Flexible working arrangements – the next stage from the “office nine-to-five” By Katherine Thomas and Bailey Bosch, Free Range Lawyers
Chapter 10: Going it alone – setting up your own practice
By Rachel Khiara, Khiara Law
Chapter 11: Work’s not working – portfolio careers
By Rachel Brushfield, The Talent Liberator, Energise Legal
Chapter 12: Law as a second career
By Pam Loch, managing partner, Loch Associates
Part 4: The future
Chapter 13: Uncovering bias that sabotages career development and success
By Rosalie Chamberlain, Chamberlain Consulting
Chapter 14: Modern career trajectories – is partnership still the end goal?
By Clare Harman Clark, senior professional support lawyer, Taylor Wessing
Chapter 15: Women are leaving - what might make them stay?
By Yolanda Cartusciello, partner, PP&C Consulting
Chapter 16: Women are ready – is the legal industry?
By Patricia Gillette