Legal profession nearing equal gender split

By Lara Bullock|13 March 2016
gender equality

While the percentage of women in the legal industry is nearing the 50 per cent mark, "more can be done" to ensure women make it to the higher ranks of the profession, according to the Queensland Law Society (QLS).

The QLS is cautiously optimistic about achieving gender equity in the legal profession, the QLS deputy president, Christine Smyth, has said.

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“Women now make up 47.9 per cent of our full members, which is an increase of 0.7 per cent from 2014-15. Early career lawyers are surging ahead, with 61 per cent of those with five years or less post-admission experience being women,” Ms Smyth said.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in participation of our female members at the highest levels, from achieving specialist accreditation to appointment as principals of law firms and senior management and board roles, to judicial appointments.”

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While this is a positive, the QLS has said that more needs to be done to ensure participation at a higher career level becomes more balanced.

QLS president Bill Potts said: “More can be done, and so QLS will set up a working group to work closely with the Queensland Bar Association to consider the Law Council of Australia’s proposed Opportunity Briefing Policy for Female Barristers and Advocates.”

Legal profession nearing equal gender split
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