With the BBC recently issuing data to show that they are narrowing the gender pay-gap and crowing that there are now a whole three female presenters in the top 12 highest paid presenter list, it made me think how this issue applies to the legal industry where there are only 20% of women that sit at partnership level. While we are all very aware of the issues which arise in juggling family life when trying to pursue a career, there are so many things that women can do to help themselves.
Today I attended the very insightful “How did she do it?” seminar hosted by Arnold & Porter and Mimoza Fleur where the panellists (each a partner) spoke very frankly to their audience about their respective journeys to partnership. While each panel member had an individual experience, it was clear that there were a number of themes repeating themselves. With imposter syndrome affecting an estimated two thirds of women, women can so often be their own obstacle, lacking the confidence and self-belief that they are in a position to advance their career. It is so important that women look to grasp their career by the horns and take control. If partnership is what they aspire to (and this is certainly not the case for everyone) then they must be willing to stand up and be counted and not to wait for other people to come and seek them out. It is not a failure to ask for help and by seeking a mentor and/or a partnership coach, the building blocks for your future career can quickly be put in place.
It is great to see that both men and women in the legal profession are starting to talk about this obvious issue. With the ability to attend such informative sessions such as today’s seminar and with increasingly honest conversations, hopefully more women will have the confidence to unlock their true potential.