Natasha Bernal
The Lawyer
20 October 2014

The five associates taking law firm gender balance into their own hands

Mishcon de Reya solicitor Sophie Bragg is one of the committee members for WILL. “Like so many great plans, it all started over a glass of wine,” she laughs.

The five women may not have discussed the finer details of long-term strategy but they had no trouble identifying the problem they wanted to overcome. “Put simply, something isn’t working,” Bragg explains. “As a profession, we have been talking about ‘the women’s issue’ for too long without seeing any positive change. We want to provide a framework for women to build sustainable networks to boost their careers.” 

Although some firms are moving in the right direction, internal programmes have not produced size-able results. “They may have the schemes in place, but we haven’t seen that making enough of a difference yet,” she says.

“I think that firms are more likely to implement positive changes if they know that other firms have already found a way to make those changes work.”

Although firms skip around the subject of quotas, preferring to set targets, Bragg isn’t so sure that they are a bad thing: “I am not personally averse to quotas as a short-term measure to correct the imbalance at the top, the theory being that things then self-regulate more organically once the initial correction is made.”

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