IWD: Kingsley Napley recognising the connection between gender equality and positive business outcomes.

21 February 2017

Kingsley Napley has 356 employees, 70 per cent of whom are women. At the helm of our firm are two women.  Managing Partner, Linda Woolley and Senior Partner, Jane Keir took up their roles in 2004 and 2013 respectively. The partnership of the firm benefits from near equal gender split; currently 48 per cent of the partnership is female.  In short, we punch well above our weight when it comes to achieving gender equality in the law.

The picture across the wider legal profession is less rosy.  Despite female solicitors making up over 60 per cent of new entrants to the profession, of the top 100 law firms in the UK, more than three quarters of those firms had a partnership of less than 30 per cent female.  As at 1 April 2015 the overall percentage of female judges was a mere 25.2.  Whilst things are going in the right direction at Kingsley Napley there is still a long road ahead for full gender equality in the law.  This is the main reason why we believe it is important to recognise International Women’s Day (IWD) at Kingsley Napley. 

As my colleague Sharin explained yesterday IWD is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The theme of IWD 2017 is #BeBoldForChange.  This year on IWD we are invited to think about what practical steps we can take to help forge a more gender inclusive world.

Within the legal profession those practical steps could include:

  • Introduction or further improvement of flexible working conditions;
  • Increasing the number of part-time roles in your workplace whilst ensuring part-time working is no barrier to promotion;
  • Improving the support for staff who choose to have children and a career;
  • Undertake training on ‘unconscious bias’ and implement that learning in the workplace;
  • Calling out inappropriate language in the workplace;
  • Encourage female colleagues to speak out proudly about their skills and qualities;
  • Ensuring there are sufficient numbers of positive female role models in senior positions;

On 8 March 2017 at Kingsley Napley all staff will come together over lunch to mark IWD.  Our Senior Partner, Jane will talk about the value of an inclusive workplace and the measures the firm has implemented to achieve gender equality at Kingsley Napley and introduce our esteemed guest speakers for our IWD lunch: Sarah Turner Founder of Angel Academe, Dana Denis-Smith Founder of Obelisk Support and Rebecca Chapman, Immigration Barrister and Judge all of whom will talk about their own personal struggles and commitment to achieving gender equality. 

Most importantly on IWD we will be inviting our colleagues to make written pledges as to what they will do, personally, in 2017 to eradicate gender inequality in the work place. We aim to publish as many of these pledges as possible via social media networks and we encourage clients and members of the profession who support our goals to share our pledges with your own networks.

When women are engaged and thrive in the workplace, everyone thrives.  At Kingsley Napley we recognise the powerful link between gender inclusion and positive business outcomes.  On 8 March 2017 we invite you to #BeBoldForChange and do the same.

Melinka Berridge is a Partner in the Regulatory team at Kingsley Napley and a founding member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion group and LGBT & Allies network.

Kingsley Napley are proud to support the #BeBoldForChange campaign and are publishing a series of blogs to promote discussion around gender parity and the continued relevance of International Women’s Day.

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