The news that Taylor Wessing are looking to address missing their set gender promotion targets is extremely positive. The firm are obviously taking this seriously and looking at ways in which this can be improved going forward.
There are a number of measures firms can put in place to provide a fair opportunity for all, when it comes to progression through the firm. Strategies are important, but equally processes that are introduced at an operational level add just as much benefit, potentially even more so.
By introducing structured work allocation firms allow for an equal platform for male and female lawyers who are looking to progress through the firm. It is not the only answer, but there is a direct correlation between firms who have adopted this structure, and their female promotions. A case in point is Ashurst, who have fully embraced structured work allocation and saw a 40% female representation in their recent promotions round.
Taylor Wessing has launched a new diversity strategy after failing to meet its 2018 female partner targets, The Lawyer can reveal. The firm’s objective was to achieve the 25 per cent UK female partnership figure through a programme of initiatives launched in 2014. At that time, 17 per cent of the firm’s UK partners were women. Taylor Wessing’s latest figures for the 2016/17 financial year reveal that the firm has a total of 15 female partners, down from the previous year’s 17.5 FTE figure. Taylor Wessing managing partner Tim Eyles told The Lawyer: “Having a diverse workforce is hugely important to us – it’s a standing agenda item at every board meeting – so it’s really disappointing that the measures we’ve put in place to improve our gender balance haven’t had more of an impact on our partnership.”