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Why women leave law

A happy work-life balance does not undermine one’s ability to be a good lawyer, writes Karen Jackson

27 March 2017

We have all seen the statistics. Women lawyers are not reaching partnership level in UK firms in significant numbers or at a level which tallies with the proportion of women in law. It is, however, a global issue, with female lawyers in the US, Canada, and Australia all seeing similar levels of promotion of around 20 per cent. So why is this happening? Are there discriminatory factors at play? Do women simply not have partnership aspirations? What can be done to improve gender diversity at the top of law firms?

Clearly this is a very complex issue and one which we cannot hope to grapple with in a short editorial. But I do have some ideas around which we can focus.

The lack of female partners is a self-perpetuating problem because women do not have viable role models to aspire to. This discourages them from trying to get to the top.

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