Our research executive Nicola Whiteford explains the value of research and urges members to take part in this year's Profile of the Profession survey before 30 May

An aspiration of any research is for the sample of respondents to reflect as closely as possible the makeup of the entire population. For our Profile of the Profession survey, the sample of respondents are our members who complete the survey and the entire population covers accredited paralegals, non-practising members and solicitors retained on the roll, as well as practising and trainee solicitors.

One key question that has arisen relates to gender split of current respondents.

Currently, our records show that there is an almost equal split of male and female who are practising solicitors, non practising members and solicitors retained on the roll, while just  over two-thirds (68%) of trainee solicitors are female. There is a much wider gap in relation to accredited paralegals, where out of 485, 93% are women.

Rocket Science, the external consultancy conducting the research on our behalf, has provided us with several tracking percentages and interestingly, at this point, 65% of respondents have identified as female. Also of note, about 1% of respondents have selected the options of non-binary, intersex, prefer not to say or prefer to use a different term.

Rocket Science can rectify any imbalance during their analysis. But the perfect solution would be for any imbalance to be corrected through a high response rate. The more people who complete the survey, the more any potential imbalance can be reduced.

Every person who completes the survey brings their own unique perspective. This enhances the richness of the results and analysis. If you consider your colleagues, it is unlikely that you will all hold the same opinion, or have had the same experiences.

A robust response rate provides a more complete picture of what our profession believes and has experienced on the topics covered in the survey. It is time to have your say, irrespective of whether you agree or disagree with the questions posed.

As the survey is anonymous, each person has the opportunity to provide honest feedback, some of which may relate to difficult or distressing experiences.

We want to have a true a reflection of the profession as possible and we urge all of our members who are eligible to complete the survey, to do so by 30 May. It’s your opportunity to influence the direction of our equality and diversity work for the next five years!

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Take the survey

Please take part in our profile of the profession survey – your answers can help shape our future equality and diversity work.