Last year, we published our gender equality roundtables and, having analysed the feedback from many members across Scotland, we designed a gender equality action plan to be enacted over the next two years.
One exciting area of work to promote gender equality is to take targeted action to develop the next generation of female leaders. This was an area that was consistently raised in the roundtables: that there was a lack of a support network or lack of access to senior figures for those in the earlier stages of their career. Our access network aims to address these concerns directly.
We are delighted that so many senior women in the profession have committed to taking part in advising the next generation of female leaders. Women from all sectors of the profession have come forward to offer their expertise.
How will the Women's Access Network work?
This network will put women solicitors and trainees looking to take the next steps in their career in touch with a senior woman the profession.
It isn’t intended to be a formal mentoring arrangement, but an opportunity to speak to someone who has already taken those steps, to ask questions, get advice and learn a little more. Those who have offered their time have said they are happy to have a virtual coffee or two with participants.
In its initial pilot phase, we are capping the access network at 20 matches, with a view to expanding over time.
Senior women solicitors interested in being part of the network should please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are thrilled to say that we have had an amazing response to the pilot of the Women's Access Network, proving beyond doubt the worth of such a network to connect female lawyers across the legal profession.
As a result, applications to participate in the access network are currently closed. However, we hope to re-open to new applicants soon and will alert members to this through our usual communication channels.