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The lack of women in power positions represents a poor return on investment for law firms, and could be costing them far more than they think in both economic and cultural terms.
Quite aside from the widely accepted understanding that more diverse teams perform better, research shows that it actually costs more and takes longer to replace female partners than their male colleagues. Moreover, the scarcity of women mentors could be having a long-lasting effect on up-and-coming female associates.
The problem is far from new but law firms’ usual answers – business development training, diversity programs, investment in “women’s initiatives” – doesn’t seem to be having much of an effect, despite the collective millions firms are spending on these.
The numbers of women attaining power positions in law firms have remained static for decades. By contrast, the percentage of women holding GC positions in Fortune 500 companies is growing, and women are increasingly likely to be found in in-house roles.
Packed with fascinating insight, experience, and research from a broad range of lawyers, coaches, academics, thought leaders, and consultants, Beyond Bias: Unleashing the Potential of Women in Law considers just how much firms are costing themselves by failing to promote and retain talented women, the reasons their efforts have so far seen so little return, and the practical steps they can take to start to move the needle.
We’ll also consider what women can do more of to create and seize opportunities, claim credit where it’s due, and get the most out of their business development efforts, wherever they practice.