Fiona Woolf Lecture 2021 – The gender pay gap – mind the gap. Review and reflection

The Law Society’s gender programme supported by the Women Lawyers Division (WLD) seeks to raise awareness of important gender issues and highlight the positive contribution that women make in the profession.

The event is an opportunity to learn about:

  • The challenges faced by women lawyers in closing the gender pay gap
  • Strategies for improving the gender pay gap in the legal sector
  • Sharing tools and best practice

Find out more information and sign up here.

Upcoming Law Society Events – October

Conversations on Returning to the Law, Working Flexibly and Fulfilling Your Career Aspirations

This webinar, scheduled on 5 October between 12:00-13:30, will explore returning to the law following a career break, working flexibly and fulfilling career aspirations. The session is a collaboration between the Law Society and Hill Dickinson, who will be discussing how flexible working and career breaks are no barrier to career progression at Hill Dickinson.

Find out more information and sign up here.

Peppy Health: How Clifford Chance are Supporting Women’s Health

Join Peppy Health on 6th October, 12:00 BST, to learn how Clifford Chance are attracting and retaining their best talent

Over the last 6 months, Clifford Chance have launched support for menopause, late pregnancy, early parenthood and fertility with Peppy. Since then, they have pioneered fertility support and have been shortlisted for the Best Health & Wellbeing Initiative award.

Find out more and sign up here.

Changing Career Direction: Hear from Those Who Have Successfully Changed Career

This Law Society webinar will run on 19 October between 13:00-14:30 and will explore changing career direction. During this virtual panel discussion you will hear from former solicitors from a range of law firms and practice areas who have all changed career direction. They will share their stories to inspire and motivate you to explore doing the same.

Find out more information and sign up here.

Peppy Health: How Race Impacts Menopause

To mark Menopause Awareness Day (18 October) and Black History Month, the Law Society is partnering with Peppy Health to host a free, virtual event on 20th October to explore the nuanced experiences of the menopause.

Find out more information and sign up here.

Law Society: Practical toolkit for women in law

A new toolkit released by the Law Society to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021 shows there is still much further to go to achieve gender equality for women lawyers globally and gives practical advice on how to set up new gender equality initiatives.

A survey of over 300 respondents across six continents, conducted by the Law Society of England and Wales and Bates Wells for the toolkit, found that women in the law still face significant barriers to progression – including unconscious bias, unequal pay, a lack of support when speaking out about instances of sexual harassment in the workplace and the ‘double burden’ women face when juggling caring responsibilities and work commitments.

You can read more and download a copy of the toolkit here.

Law Society International Women’s Day 2021

International Women’s Day on 8 March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

In 2021 the Law Society will mark the year slightly differently to previous years, with a virtual event where they will be launching their joint Law Society and Bates Wells International Women in Law report “Practical Toolkit for Women in Law“. This webinar will highlight and disseminate the report’s key findings and recommendations. 

This report reinforces the findings of the 2019 Law Society report ‘Advocating for Change: Transforming the Future of the Legal Profession through greater Gender Equality’, that there are still considerable challenges for women’s progression in the legal profession. This report suggests a series of activities that can be undertaken by individuals and organisations to continue striving for gender equality. One of the key findings is the importance of law societies and bar associations in taking robust leadership for accelerating transformative changes in this area within their own jurisdictions.

Written under extraordinary circumstances generated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the report addresses the unparalleled set of challenges currently being faced by woman around the world. The report also highlights that there has been greater flexibility and more agile working resulting from the ‘working from home’ policy, which has contributed to changing attitudes towards working from home that has been made feasible and manageable due to technology. But this has also led to an increase in home-based burdens. Therefore, it is important to establish boundaries between home and work, which have become more blurred; so, a careful approach is needed. Sexual harassment continues to be a stubborn scourge in many workplaces, but that most women avoid talking about this issue due to the stigma attached and for fear that they will not be believed or will suffer a backlash for speaking out.

Learning objectives

This webinar will offer an opportunity to learn about;

  • Findings of the joint Law Society / Bates & Wells report on support mechanisms for women lawyers around the world
  • Challenges faced by women lawyers internationally
  • Strategies for improving gender equality in the legal sector
  • Sharing tools and best practice
  • Male champions for change
  • Women leadership in law

This event is also:

  • An opportunity to learn more about the Law Society’s international women in law programme work and to find out how to get involved
  • An opportunity to learn about the role of lawyers in upholding gender equality from a panel of experts 
  • A virtual networking opportunity


14:00 – 14:05 Welcome remarks
David Greene, President, The Law Society

14:05 – 14:10 Pre-recorded video message from Commonwealth Secretariat Baroness Scotland to the legal community

14:10 – 14:25 Keynote speaker
Gabriella Ramos, Assistant Director – General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO

14:25 – 14:30 Panel introduction
Christoph Sicking, Chair of the Law Society International Committee & Assistant General Counsel, EBRD

14:30 – 15:00 Panel discussion
Co-authors – Lizzette Robleto de Howarth and Melanie Carter
Interviewee – Brooke Holden, Principal, Lipman Karas – Hong Kong
Discussant – Amandeep Khasriya, Senior Associate, Moore Barlow / WLD-UK 

15:00 – 15:25 Q&A session

15:25 – 15:30 Closing remarks
Christoph Sicking, Chair of the Law Society International Committee & EBRD Senior Counsel 

Sign up for this event here.

Women’s health: let’s talk about endometriosis

In this podcast from the Law Society Women Lawyers Division, they explore endometriosis, specifically offering advice to women throughout the profession on how to cope. The speakers also discuss suggestions to employers on how to better support women who suffer from endometriosis.

Find our more here.