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Female solicitors have ‘significantly poorer’ wellbeing compared to male colleagues

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176

Research coincides with national Time to Talk day

Female solicitors have “significantly poorer” wellbeing compared to their male colleagues, according to findings released today to coincide with national Time to Talk Day, an initiative to encourage open conversations about mental health.

The findings, compiled by ex-City solicitor turned academic Lucinda Soon, are based on the survey responses of 340 trainee and qualified solicitors practising in England and Wales, and using what is known as the ‘Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale’ — a system that enables the scoring of mental wellbeing.

The research found that while female solicitors posted a lower average wellbeing score (43.7) compared to their male counterparts (46.2), both demonstrated lower wellbeing scores than the national averages for females and males, at 49.6 and 50.1, respectively.

Looking at the profession as a whole, solicitors posted an average wellbeing score of 44.3, over five points lower than the national adult average of 49.9.

The research also found that wellbeing is lowest among solicitors between five and 15 years post-qualification experience (PQE), while trainees and juniors of up to 5 years PQE averaged slightly higher scores than their mid-level colleagues. Senior-level solicitors with over 15 years’ PQE demonstrated the highest levels of wellbeing.

The research found lawyer wellbeing was mostly impacted by whether solicitors felt autonomous at work, effective in their jobs, and socially supported and connected with people at work.

But how do solicitors stack up against other professions? Citing previous studies on other occupations, the research found solicitors have an average wellbeing score lower than UK veterinary surgeons (48.9), GPs in Northern Ireland (50.2) and teachers in England (47.2).

LAWYER EVENT: How to follow your dreams outside law while still working as a lawyer — with A&O Peerpoint: Find out more

Soon, a PhD researcher at Birbeck University’s department of organisational psychology, said:

“This is the first study to benchmark the wellbeing of solicitors in England and Wales against existing data. By using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, we were able to capture the wellbeing scores of those surveyed and compare them against population data published by the NHS and previous research on other UK occupational groups.”

Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare, a mental health charity that runs a helpline offering support to lawyers, added: “This research confirms that lawyers experience poorer wellbeing than others. The time is now to address the culture and working practices in law that can lead to poor wellbeing, and build the social capital in the legal community to create positive change.”

Detailed findings from the study will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal in due course.

There will be a session focusing on mental health and wellbeing at LegalEdCon London on Thursday 14 May 2020, held at Kings Place, Kings Cross, London. Find out more information here.

Feeling stressed? You can contact LawCare by calling 0800 279 6888 in the UK.

176 Comments

Anonymous

Isn’t it more likely that woman are more able to acknowledge and more willing to disclose.

The disparity in suicide rates (greater number of men than women) suggests that men have a problem with acknowledging and disclosing mental health difficulties.

Not sure studies like the one in the article or the article itself helps matters.

(50)(3)

Anon

This. Men under-report historically.

(15)(2)

Anonymous

Yes, it feels a bit as if women are encouraged to report low scores and men are encouraged not to.

(6)(8)

Anonymous

Suicide rates are lower in men because women use less effective suicide methods. Suicide attempt rates are similar.

(19)(5)

Anonymous

Although any attempt is awful, successful attempts have more consequences.

(2)(4)

Anonymous

Isn’t saying men are better at suicide sexist in these woke times? Suicide methodologies have been developed in the context of a patriarchal authority framework. Once one takes away the challenges facing women they are as good, if not better, at it than men.

(21)(17)

Really?

You seriously need to shut the fuck up.

Anonymous

Really is hard.

Anonymous

How were the responders selected?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

What was the proportion of responder by gender?

(5)(0)

Anon

And race?

(2)(0)

Tim

AND DISABILITY

(2)(1)

Anonymous

It’s also important to understand the reasons for the scores and why they might differ between genders. Does the survey provide any insight into this?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

The conclusion in the headline cannot be drawn from the data as reported. This awful habit of relying on self-reporting surveys as the basis to establish a conclusion has to stop.

(14)(2)

Anonymous

Would the results of the survey have been published and with the same prominence had they found that men had ‘significantly poorer’ wellbeing.

(10)(4)

Yes

Newsflash: women are generally more sensitive and more likely to admit to feeling unhappy than men.

(12)(15)

Just saying

If women are more sensitive, why is that men on men homicides are crazy high (vs women on male homicides)? If you ask me, it seems like men can’t contain or control their emotion.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Sounds a bit sexist

(1)(0)

Man

We are just bigger, stronger, more impulsive, more violent and more criminally inclined. And better at killing.

(3)(0)

Anon

But unable to contain or control emotions. And more impulsive and more ‘criminally inclined’? Hmmm, not sure.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Men are responsible for 80% of violent crime. The data show there is firm basis for all the points made in the 12.45 post.

Anonymous

What data?

Anonymous

You can use Google, tool.

Anonymous

For what, tool?

Anon

To get the data, tool.

Back to your exams.

Anon

What data, tool?

What exams, tool?

Anonymous

The data which shows that men are responsible for 80% of violent crime, tool.

Your first year LLB exams at Warwick, tool.

Anon

Source of data?

Those exams why?

What tools?

Anonymous

Well you might be able to feign originality in online posts, for a start.

(0)(0)

Anon

Why would one want to feign?

Anonymous

Breaking news: women complain more than men!

Well imagine my shock…

(29)(15)

Realist

It would be interesting (arguably even essential) to understand more information about participants. Specifically, I would like to understand what wider commitments respondents have in their lives, beyond work. My observations of my friends, nearly all of whom are married with children, is that their lives comprise an exhausting, almost oppressive helter-skelter of childcare commitments which drive out almost everything in their lives except for: (a) work; (b) child-rearing; and (c) sleep. A surprising number seem less than convinced that their decision to have children was a brilliant life decision.

In that context, the finding that ‘wellbeing is lowest among solicitors between five and 15 years post-qualification experience (PQE)’ perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise: this is the point at which people start to realise that you really can’t ‘have it all’, regardless of how much Sheryl Sandberg-esque ‘leaning-in’ you’re determined to do (noting also that (a) Sandberg’s book was nonsense unless you’re a millionaire with oodles of support staff; (b) she has partially recanted it herself; and (c) women give birth, and like babies more than men, so end up doing more childcare).

What am I missing?

(23)(2)

Anonymous

This report seems to be good only for loo roll.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

As others have said, the reasons behind the findings are very important. We see a lot of mens’ wellbeing and mental health affected by false accusations of sexual harassment and fear of such. This is something which doesn’t get much coverage and it’s not clear if this survey covered it at all.

(9)(36)

Anon

“We see a lot of mens’ wellbeing and mental health affected by false accusations of sexual harassment and fear of such.”

Please provide examples of where male lawyers have been falsely accused of sexual harassment.

(57)(5)

Anonymous

Are you saying you’re not aware of any?

Please advise how many times you upvoted your comment.

(3)(25)

Anon

So you are unable to provide examples of where male lawyers have been falsely accused of sexual harassment.

Not a great start when trying to put forward an argument.

Back to your exams.

(20)(2)

Anonymous

You’ve just made a false accusation!

Anon

No, I am not aware of any.

So you are unable to provide examples of where male lawyers have been falsely accused of sexual harassment.

Not a great start when you are making an argument.

Back to your exams.

(25)(2)

Anonymous

I don’t believe that you’re not aware of any, they’re too prevalent. My conclusion is that you are aware of false accusations of sexual harassment against male lawyers and that your request isn’t genuine.

So, how many times did you upvote your comment?

What exams?

(2)(24)

Dave

You have claimed that men are subject to false allegations of sexual harassment. Please provide evidence of this. Presumably, you do have such evidence, or you would not have made this claim?

(17)(2)

Anonymous

The evidence of the claim is the comment making the claim. The evidence that there are false accusations relating to sexual harassment is easily found, e.g. people upvoting their own comments and posting under multiple aliases, so is already available.

Please advise how many times you upvoted your earlier comment.

(0)(15)

Dave

Thanks for confirming you have no evidence to support the point you made. In the real world, you do need evidence if you are going to make an assertion. Simply saying that you think something is the case is not good enough.

Anonymous

That’s ok, the evidence was provided, but it was already available.

How many times did you upvote your comment?

Dave

Still no evidence.

Dave

Still no evidence.

Anonymous

You’ve already got it.

How many times did you upvote your comment?

Anon

Where is the evidence?

Anonymous

You’ve got it.

Anon

Nope. Still no evidence.

Anonymous

Yes there is evidence.

Anonymous

Nope. Please provide it.

Anon

You have it.

Anon

Send it over and I will look at it.

Anon

Sure. So many it’s hard to know where to begin. Have a read through the comments here for a start.

Anon

Had a look. No evidence. Send it to me, there’s a good chap.

Anonymous

There’s plenty there, you just need to look a bit harder. There’s a good chap.

Anonymous

I’ve you’ve read the comments then you’ve seen the evidence. There’s a good chap.

Anon

*Looks again*

*Still doesn’t see any*

Anon

If you’ve looked you’ve seen the evidence.

Anon

You’ve read the comments so you’ve seen it.

Anon

Nope! No evidence seen as yet. Please send some over.

Anonymous

It’s a false accusation that you haven’t seen any evidence.

Anon

Still no evidence. Send it and I can consider it. Thanks.

Anon

You have it. There’s a good chap.

Anon

Nope. No yet. Still no evidence. Am
Ready and waiting!

Anonymous

You’re waiting for something you already have!

Anon

Nope! Still can’t see any.

Anon

Yep! You’ve already seen it.

Anon

*Looks again*

*No evidence seen*

Anon

If you looked then that means you’ve seen it.

anonymous

Looked and it wasn’t there.

Do send some and I will assess it.

Anon

You’ve read it and seen it.

Anon

Have neither read it nor seen it.

Anonymous

Yes, you have both seen and read it.

Anon

Nope. Do send the evidence.

Anonymous

Have it already you do.

Anon

Not yet! Please send it. Thanks.

Anon

Have it you do, thanks!

Anonymous

Have it you do!

Anon

No evidence yet!

Anonymous

Not have it you don’t?

Anon

The King of Evidence for the whole universe to infinity reviewed it and declared that they’ve never seen so much evidence.

It’s been seen!

Anon

No. Still waiting for it.

Anon

Waiting for something that’s already there.

Anon

Nope. Can’t see it. Not there yet. Really beginning to doubt there is in fact any.

Anonymous

There must be, since it has already been provided.

anonymous

Can’t detect any evidence yet. Please send it.

Anon

Already there.

anonymous

Evidence nowhere to be seen. Please send.

Anon

Yep, still there.

Anon

Total absence of evidence!

Anon

No evidence. Have given up hope.

Anonymous

Overwhelming evidence.

Overwhelming evidence.

Anon

Please send it for my review. None as yet.

Anon

To say there is no evidence is a false accusation.

anonymous

Still no evidence.

Anonymous

There still is.

Anon

Looking forward to seeing some evidence.

Anonymous

Looking for that which is already there.

How many times did you upvote your own comment again?

Anon

Can’t wait to see the evidence!

Anonymous

Waiting for something that’s already there!

Anon

The Professor of Evidence at Oxford has reviewed and declared it an evidence-free zone.

So please send the evidence!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The King of Evidence for the whole universe to infinity reviewed it and declared that they’ve never seen so much evidence. So it’s already there!

Anon

The King of Evidence got his position via the arbitrary whim of the hereditary principle; the Professor of Evidence was appointed on merit and his view prevails.

Send evidence, please.

Anon

The King of Evidence, who is paramount, was unanimously elected, including by the Professor, who defers to his superior knowledge.

It’s been seen.

Anon

Nope. Still no evidence.

Anon

The King of Evidence says that there is, and that it’s been seen.

Anon

Nope! Still no sign.

Anon

Yup! The King of Evidence has judged that evidence has been there and has been seen.

anonymous

*Tumbleweed*

No sign of the evidence.

Anon

There’s so much evidence there’s no room for tumbleweed.

Anon

The tumbleweed is there precisely because there is no evidence. Provide some!

Anon

There isn’t any tumbleweed cos there’s so much evidence. It’s been provided!

Anon

Tumbleweed everywhere due to absence of evidence.

Anon

Evidence everywhere due to absence of tumbleweed.

Anon

Still no evidence.

Anonymous

There is, and you’ve provided much of it.

Anon

Still no evidence!

Anonymous

There is, and you’ve provided much of it!

Anon

No evidence yet!

Anon

There is yes!

Anon

Send the evidence. None yet.

Anon

The King of Evidence says that there is, and that it’s been seen.

Anon

No evidence yet, sadly.

Anonymous

Happily there is.

Anon

Still waiting for the evidence. Beginning to think there is none actually available!

Anonymous

There must be since you’ve already seen it.

Anon

No. Haven’t seen it yet.

Anonymous

Seen it yet you have, yes.

Anon

Yes. Seen it.

Anonymous

No evidence yet. None seen. Doubt it is even available.

Anonymous

It must be, because you’ve seen it.

Anon

Must be, because you’ve see it.

Anon

No evidence detected. Obviously isn’t any, or it would have been provided by now.

Anon

Has been.

Anon

No evidence given yet.

Anon

Yes has been.

Anon

Still unable to see any evidence. Waiting for it. But not holding my breath.

Anon

Still awaiting that which is already there.

Anon

None as yet. Looking forward to the evidence.

Anon

Looking forward to that which is already there.

Anon

Please do send the evidence before comments are closed.

Anonymous

Let’s see how many false accusations you can fit in before the comments are closed.

Anon

Don’t waste time. Send the evidence!

Anon

None at all! Look forward to seeing it.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Looking forward to something which is already there.

Anon

None at yet!

Anon

Still there at yet!

Anon

Come on. Send the evidence!

Anon

Already there!

Anon

Not yet! Come on! Time is running out.

Stinky NEET

The problem with the legal profession is that, like many “mine is bigger than yours” things, yours is never big enough. When you couple that with long hours and work that (if we’re being honest) is largely insignificant you get a professions of depressed alchies.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Mine is more than big enough. Too big too be honest.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Yes, sorry for the second “too”, I will hand myself into the Grammar Police and plead typo.

(2)(0)

Anon

What about the comma splice?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

LawCare should acknowledge and encourage people to speak out about false allegations of sexual harassment and the climate of fear which can be caused as a result.

(3)(6)

Hmmm

Repeatedly posting about mass false allegations with absolutely no evidence or statistics isn’t going to convince anyone to agree with you. You look as if you really, really hate women.

It’s a sad waste of your life?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

There is plenty of evidence, most people already agree and most others reading the comments here will too.

Assuming that only women make false accusations seems more like really hating women to me.

You might feel that asking Lawcare to address the issue of the impact of false allegations and the accompanying climate of fear on men’s mental health is a ‘sad waste of a life’, others will not.

(1)(1)

Still stuck

The mental well being for the profession (especially employed solicitor as opposed to partners or directors) as a whole is low regardless of whether you are male or female. What a rubbish life to lead. I am still looking for a way out but I think I am stuck now.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Stop thinking and hit your hours. Leaving the thinking and feeling to the partners.

Sent from my iPad from my weekend house

(0)(1)

Still stuck

Yes, there you go. Bravo. That’s what makes life so downright rubbish : hit your hours, hit your target, slave.

(2)(1)

Anon

Your life is rubbish because you are too dull and dim witted to see sarcasm.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Disgusting

Anonymous

Correct. It must be pretty disgusting to be that dull and dim witted, but one has to appreciate that these types do not realise how basic they are. So cocooned by the warm fuzzy glow of ignorance, they trudge through life in a state of ignorance of their own limitations.

Anonymous

Agreed – people like 12.10 never do.

Comments are closed.

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