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Everyday sexism: Changing the culture of law

Jennette Newman, BLM partner and head of the firm's London office, talks to Laura Clenshaw about the leadership, not lip service, needed within firms to finally end gender inequality

21 June 2016

Once all the rage in encouraging a proportionate number of male and female partners in firms, quotas - whether forced or voluntary - have recently been cited as an inhibitor to securing gender equality in the upper echelons at law firms. It's a strong argument: quotas for quotas' sake undermine true talent, both male and female. They can also divert attention away from the reasons why there is a lack of female senior management in the first place: an absence of flexible working in a strict, presenteeism culture; a reluctance to tackle traditionally male behaviours in the workplace; and Queen Bee syndrome, whereby women who have moved to the upper ranks guard their position fiercely, refusing entry to other women struggling to make it to the top of male-dominated offices.

Jennette Newman is head of the Lloyd's and London market sector at BLM, the defendant insurer firm. A first generation university goer, Newman stu...

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