The number of women in our top law firms in New Zealand is still surprisingly low. Women are making up only a quarter of partners in top law firms. So why are women still hitting the glass ceiling in law?
Radio New Zealand released an investigation a few days ago that looked into the numbers of women working in big law firms around the country. While female law graduates have out-numbered men since the 1990’s the results were still very male dominated. Especially when it came to higher up jobs.
In fact, RNZ showed statistics that saw by 2013 students graduating from law school were 63 per cent female and 37 per cent male. But yet out of the top 11 New Zealand law firms women make up only a quarter of partners.
It seems women are still hitting a “glass ceiling” when it comes to the law industry meaning that while there are a lot of women practicing law they’re not getting those top jobs. Or becoming partners in law firms as much as their male counterparts.
The full report was discussed on RNZ insight with suggestions being made that this glass ceiling in law could be in part due to motherhood and the responsibilities that come with it.
Similarly the New Zealand Law Society also published a study on women and the glass ceiling in law where female lawyers discussed things such as unconscious bias, lack of senior role models and the value of male traits in the law industry.
Hopefully in the coming years we will see a more positive shift in these statistics.