WIPR Influential Women in IP 2019
Women in the boardroom www.worldipreview.com
In the legal profession a
woman can climb the career
ladder, but between lawyer
and partner level, there’s a
step missing, and it often arises
cultural aversion to agile working and
career breaks across many areas of the law
profession is hindering the achievement of
a gender diverse workforce, says McLean.
She adds that while there are signs of change—
such as the Reignite Academy for those who’ve taken
a career break in the UK—the legal sector has been a
bit slow off the mark.
“It’s time recruiting managers stopped rejecting
CVs as soon as they see a career gap,” advises McLean.
For Majumder, a 2012 study by learning company
Rainmaker prompted the firm to think about the
tremendous ‘leak’ of female professionals from entry
to mid-level in Indian law firms.
“In other words, women who were taking breaks
in their career to raise families were often not coming
back to the profession as it was no longer conducive
to their new sets of responsibilities.
“It’s important to change that so that talented and
competent women are not left behind,” Majumder adds.
This is backed up by our data. More than twothirds
of our respondents think there’s a trade-off
between building a family and career success. Split
between the genders, 67% of women believed there
was a trade-off, compared with 43% of men.
“Children do not ruin women’s careers.
Motherhood changes women, often for the better,
and companies should allow and support that
transition more to ensure they’re getting the best
from their female employees,” says one respondent to
In the UK, according to SRA statistics, almost a
third of lawyers have primary caring responsibilities
The introduction of flexible working policies is one
tool to stop the exodus of women and to help bring
those who have taken breaks back into the workforce.
Although many respondents were positive about
of the steps
that have been
taken to support
Would you say the parental leave policy
at your company is…
Christine Armstrong, author,
The Mother of All Jobs: How
to Have Children and a
Career and Stay Sane(ish)
SHUTTERSTOCK / ROBERT F BALAZIK