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Across the board: Gender diversity in law firm management teams

Jo Worby considers whether law firms need mandatory quotas to increase female representation in their senior management teams

15 August 2013

England and Wales’ law society president, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, caused a stir earlier this year when she announced a proposal to introduce targets for female appointments to senior management teams in law firms. The profession’s collective jaw dropped when she berated law firms for too often “promoting mediocre men at the expense of talented women”. Meanwhile, there has been discussion in the wider business world about the wisdom (or otherwise) of requiring FTSE100 boards to meet minimum quotas for female membership.

Positive action in recruitment and promotion is allowed by The Equality Act 2010. An employer can treat a person with the relevant characteristic (in this case gender) more favourably than others, provided that person is “as qualified as” other candidates and the employer does not have a policy of treating such people more favourably.
Even though the law p...

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