Women in Law – Rising Numbers/Stagnant Compensation – It Is Not Just a U.S. Phenomenon

Almost half of all solicitors in Scotland are now women, and when counting solicitors under the age of 45 that number rises to 61 percent, according to the Herald Scotland. Despite these numbers, women remain less likely to reach the “pinnacle” of their career when measured by compensation and position. Why is this? The article states:

The reasons why highly capable, professional women get paid less and go less far in their careers are complex. The old thorny problem of women falling behind their male counterparts in the career stakes after taking time off to have children is one explanation; some women feel that if they work part-time they are automatically passed over for promotion; and others suspect male bosses of recruiting those cast in their own image. At the same time, some women simply do not wish to pursue career advancement beyond a certain point.


This highlights the importance of professions adapting to the needs of their workforce instead of expecting the workforce to adapt to them. The hope must be that the young female lawyers now coming through will find that their employers embrace flexible and part-time working to facilitate and enhance their career development. Mentoring of younger female lawyers by women in more senior positions is another worthwhile strategy. Measures such as these should help ensure that in the future women are equally represented in the top jobs.

Some issues and solutions do seem universal, although the highlighted language above rings true. Perhaps the work ethic/expectation of the millennium workforce will be a driving force for change (or at least leveling the playing field. For a link to the entire Herald Scotland article, see:

Welcome Change to the Face of Law

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