We have produced information, guides and advice to help you, our members, and your organisations promote equality and diversity and eliminate the gender pay gap. These include an Equal Pay Toolkit, our Parents in the Profession guides, the Equality Standards, and a Menopause Support Resource.

There is also the opportunity to work in partnership with us in this area. To discuss this further please contact Charlotta Cedeqvist, Head of Business Development.

Crowd

Building a more inclusive profession

Find out more about our key our priorities and projects to improve equality and diversity within the legal profession for the five years to 2023.

Our Equality and Diversity Guides. Woman and two children, one in a wheelchair

Equality and diversity guides

Supporting our members to comply with their legal duties and to excel as employers and service providers.

Large group of people walking in a street

Equality and diversity research

Take a look at our key research which looks at the whole legal sector, as well as specific groups and issues.

#Let'sTalkProgression

One of the biggest issues in this area currently is the gender pay gap. While our profession is not unique in facing the challenge of a gender pay gap, we want to continue having open and positive discussion about gender equality and what we can all do. 

Take a look at the questions below and get involved in the conversation. Discuss them with colleagues and friends, tell us your views by email, or join the conversation in our social media groups using #LetsTalkProgression

  • What benefits does diversity offer our profession?
  • What can we do to promote thinking about gender equality?
  • What can you do to promote diversity and challenge the gender pay gap?
  • How can we ensure diversity at senior levels across the profession?
  • Does your social or ethnic background affect your career options?
  • What should we do to close the pay gap?
  • How can you progress your career and have a family?
  • Why do so many women in their 30s leave the profession?
  • Why do so few men take up shared parental leave?
  • Should we encourage more men to study law?

Nearly three quarters of all law students are female. Why are male students staying away?

Over two thirds of solicitors under 45 years of age are female.

Looking at the Scottish solicitor profession as a whole, over half are female.

Of those who go on to become accredited specialists, it's split equally between males and females.

The average gap between earnings of male and female solicitors is 42%

For every one female solicitor advocate, there are three males.

You're three times more likely to be an equity partner if you're male.

Twice as many males reach director level at in-house employers.

Equality and diversity blogs, articles and events

The Equality Standards, guides and other information are supplemented by regular blogs from experts and events covering key issues.

Why I work flexibly: Kevin Clancy

For our series focusing on flexible working, Kevin Clancy, a partner at Shepherd and Wedderburn, explains how flexible working enables him to combine being a solicitor and a FIFA international football referee.

Why I work flexibly: Mimi Stewart

As part of our series on flexible working, Mimi Stewart, a legal director at Morton Fraser LLP, explains why self discipline, responsibility and being reminded "you don't work on Fridays" helps her to manage her work-life balance.

Why I work flexibly: John Grady

In the second in our series looking at flexible working, John Grady, a partner in Shepherd and Wedderburn’s regulation and markets team, explains why working flexibly is about much more than childcare and the positive influence it's had on his working life.

Why I work flexibly: Lindsey Cartwright

In the first of our series of blogs focusing on flexible working, Lindsey Cartwright, a partner with Morton Fraser and Accredited Specialist in Employment Law, shares her reasons for working flexibly and how it can work for everyone.

Easter: Bringing hope in troubled times

For Easter, Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, considers the meaning of this important Christian festival and the hope it offers as we begin to emerge from lockdown.

International Women's Day 2021: What I've learned

Elaine MacGlone, our Equality & Diversity Manager and a solicitor, reflects on what she's learned from our series of blogs celebrating IWD 2021 and how even the smallest changes can make a difference.

International Women's Day 2021: Inequality is everyone's issue

Professor Gillian Black, Chair of Scots Private Law at the University of Edinburgh Law School and Commissioner at the Scottish Law Commission, examines why ensuring women enter the profession has not been enough to create real change and lays down a challenge to male colleagues and friends.

International Women's Day 2021: My law is one that champions women

Claire Hawthorne, a trainee solicitor at Burness Paull LLP, discusses why her fears of entering a 'male-dominated' profession proved unfounded and the inspiring changes she has witnessed.

International Women's Day 2021: Goodbye Queen Bee

Charlotte Edgar, an associate at CMS and the New Lawyers Representative on our Council, argues it's time to ditch the Queen Bee Syndrome narrative in favour of collaboration and support, so that all women can benefit from the successes of each other.

International Women’s Day 2021: Choose to challenge and change

Naeema Sajid, solicitor, co-founder of SEMLA, and member of the Family Law Sub Committee, reflects on the enduring importance of International Women's Day, why gender equality remains an issue in the legal profession, and the promise she makes to her granddaughter.

-

Our commitment

As the professional body for solicitors in Scotland, we have responsibilities to the profession, to the public, and as an employer.

To represent and protect these diverse groups, we recognise the need to:

  • value the contribution from all who make up the population of Scotland
  • take strength from the widest experience, knowledge and understanding it can access - both within and outwith our membership
  • go beyond legal compliance by integrating diversity into all that we do
  • promote the core values of diversity to the profession as a whole
Our responsibilities

We, alongside the legal profession, have various responsibilities in relation to equality and diversity covered by legislation and statutory codes. 

For example:

  • as employers
  • as a regulator of the profession
  • as providers of 'goods and services' (to the public). 

We also have additional responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 as a:

  • 'public authority' in respect of our public functions
  • service provider to the profession
  • trade (membership) organisation
  • qualifications body

You can view our key research in this area over the last 10 years, some looking at the whole sector and collecting data to let us assess change, and others looking at specific groups, such as minority ethnic solicitors, or specific issues, like bullying.