The Law Society of Scotland has launched the Women’s Access Network to connect senior women in the legal profession with female solicitors and trainees looking to take the next steps in their careers.
The scheme will provide an opportunity for women in the profession to speak to female solicitors in senior roles who have already made the move that they are considering or have experience of a particular topic. It is not intended to be a formal mentoring arrangement, but an opportunity to ask questions, get advice and learn during a virtual coffee meeting or two.
The Women’s Access Network is part of the Law Society’s gender equality action plan to promote gender equality in the legal profession and help develop the next generation of female leaders. It is a direct response to concerns raised in the Law Society’s gender equality roundtables of the lack of access to senior female leaders for women seeking advice in the earlier stages of their legal careers.
Areas that the Women’s Access Network can address include: achieving promotion, becoming a partner or senior legal counsel, becoming a solicitor advocate, setting up your own firm, leading an in-house legal team, moving in-house, thriving as an in-house lawyer, learning more about legal technology, dealing with issues of bullying and harassment building networks, negotiating a pay rise, supervising a trainee, working with CEOs/Boards and returning to work from maternity leave.
In its pilot phase, the scheme will be capped at 20 matches, with a view to expanding over time.
Rob Marrs, Head of Education at the Law Society of Scotland, said: “More than two-thirds of new entrants to the legal profession are female, so it is vital that we support their development and enable them to connect with women who have led the way before them to gain insight and advice. We are delighted that so many senior women from all sectors of the profession have come forward to offer their expertise and committed to taking part in advising the next generation of female leaders.”
Senior women in the profession interested in being part of the network should please email firstname.lastname@example.org.