9 City law firms make gender equality employer list

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Recognised for creating workplace environments inclusive of women

The legal profession has taken a total of nine spots in this year’s gender equality employer list.

The 2020 ‘Top 50 Employers for Women’ was unveiled today by charity Business in the Community (BITC) in partnership with The Times. The list is not ranked, and among the law firms, features top employers from the worlds of banking, consultancy, insurance, the military and the arts.

The City law firms recognised for creating workplace environments inclusive of women are, in alphabetical order, Allen & Overy, CMS, DWF, Eversheds Sutherland, Hogan Lovells, Irwin Mitchell, Linklaters, Pinsent Masons and Simmons & Simmons.

Our Firms Most List shows they all have partnerships made up of over 20% women.

This is the second year running seven of the firms have featured in the top 50 list, which is now in its tenth year. DWF and IM were out in place of Addleshaw Goddard and Norton Rose Fulbright in last year’s list, which also featured nine City firms.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

“This year marks ten years of the awards, and the bar was especially high,” said Charlotte Woodworth, BITC gender equality campaign director, continuing:

“A decade of expertise and experience underpins Business In the Community’s assessment, which sees organisations reviewed across a wide range of areas including transparency around pay practices, family friendly policies and to what extent the gender equality agenda is embedded into wider strategy.”

Two magic circle firms make the cut, A&O and Links, with the former this year announcing 45% new female partner promotions, up from 24% in 2019. Thirteen of A&O’s 29 new partners are female. Meanwhile, Links announced 27% new female partner promotions earlier this year, down from 33% in 2019. Eight of the firm’s 30 new parters are female.

Big Four accountancy giants, Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, all feature on this year’s list, alongside other big names, including Barclays, British Army, Financial Conduct Authority, GlaxoSmithKline, ITV, Lloyds, Marks & Spencer, Ofcom, PepsiCo, Royal Mail, Shell, Sky and Vodafone.

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I’ll say what we’re all thinking: what about disability equality?



No one is thinking that Tim. You are the guy who asks about WLM during a BLM protest.



How dare you accuse me of racism! Clearly you don’t know the first thing about this issue, and the multiple conversations and messages I have received on this point.

Please apologise immediately.


KCL Rules

I’m sorry that you think you can do our thinking for us.


No one

That’s because there wouldn’t be any law firms on the list for disability equality.



I highly doubt that.i think it would be more a case of which aren’t. I suspect maybe two or three in this country, max.



I’m sorry but this just shows how much work there is to be done. EVERY firm should be ensuring AT LEAST 50% of new partners are women. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s going to massively improve the quality of service you provide.



Obvious troll is obvious.



Well, Ella, stop those pesky women who have babies and who decide they don’t want to work or don’t want to work towards partnership.


Ms Lawyer

Forcing your female workforce to become partners when they may not want to is not equality. Some men don’t want partnership, just as much as some women don’t want it. Focus should be made on making opportunities equal and attainable by the strongest candidates irrespective of their sex.

Equally, discrimination against younger males is occurring at the junior end. Many firms massively discriminate against men in trainee selection with 70/30 split intakes year on year and then label it as equality.



LOL, I will bite my leg off if you really are ”Ms Lawyer”. In other words, when will
these guys stop pretending to be women/BAME vehemently opposing the wrongdoings against ”those poor underprivileged privately educated men”?

Is this some new fetish they have and I’m not familiar with?



To add some more controversy:

There’s some serious discriminatory issues toward men and paternity leave. Men working in the City, be it in law or other City jobs, statistically don’t make full use of their state allowed 3 weeks paternity leave, where in some cases men were only taking 1 or 2 days off.

The reason for this, much like what women have to go up against, is the fact that there is a culture in some, not all, work environments where senior management (consisting mostly of men who did not have paternity leave as an option when they became fathers) takes note of who took the full paternity leave, and make them regret it in some shape or form down the line, and that is made relatively clear.

Controversial conclusion of this rant:

Firms are likely to do a lot more to help women progress to partnership level if they also address the massive unfairness that exists when it comes to paternity leave for men because a) that will set a firm wide example for ALL sexes that the firm respects the fact that people have families, and won’t punish you for having one, and b) given how prevalent lawyers marrying lawyers is, it will likely make parenthood an easier task for both parties as they can share the responsibilities between themselves more easily and still perform adequately at work.


Can you honestly say that a female junior lawyer today, in 10 years time will have any more of a problem being a partner if she chose to be one than a male junior lawyer?

The only issue in today’s world is an ever growing need to try and make the figures look equal. However, why do we not see the same figures in female-dominant professions? If we want to talk equality then every trainee intake needs a 50/50 split, every NQ recruitment process must end in a 50/50 split, every promotion must be one on a 50/50 basis, so that in 10 years time the partnership is 50/50, but then are we promoting due to skill or just to get 50/50?

Alternatively, are we saying for example, that for every 7 female trainees taken on board 1 will chose to be a partner, where as of the 3 male trainees 2 will be partners, and so we need a massively disproportionate number of females to make the promotions equal? This is what is currently happening and it doesn’t sound like equality to me?


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