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The presence of women in decision-making positions is growing in the legal sector

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Iberian Lawyer publishes a study on the presence of women in the private legal sector in Iberia, taking into account data from 40 of the law firms with the highest turnover in Spain and Portugal. The general data reveals the constant growth of the presence of women in decision-making positions, which is where the greatest disparity still lies.

In Spain, despite the fact that the gender gap is becoming narrower thanks to equality and family reconciliation policies implemented by the firms, among others, we observe that there are some cases where the absence of women is still striking as we move up to partner level.

The study notes what we already knew from other studies in the sector, that the lack of parity occurs, above all, in positions of responsibility. In this sense, approximately half of the firms in the study maintain parity between men and women in the number of lawyers (between 47 and 53%), and in all of them, more than a third of the lawyers are women, but never more than three quarters. In this section (lawyers), more than half of the firms (12 out of 20) have more female lawyers than male lawyers.

Maria Olleros, partner and head of the tax department explains that: "In Andersen there are no wage differences between men and women. All the professionals are evaluated with the same criteria and, depending on their position, they use the existing salary bands for each one of them, which are based on experience, responsibility, management and origin, among others. As regards access to management positions, the firm has not established a quota system and defends meritocracy, the basis of work and effort, to achieve objectives. Personally, I think that we must have a more open mentality and encourage women with great potential to position themselves in management positions. Sometimes responsibility on several fronts means that we ourselves do not take that step, so we must continue working on facilitating work-life balance within companies and, although much progress has been made, on a social change in which responsibilities and the perception of them are equal for men and women in both the professional and personal spheres".

The full study can be read in Iberian Lawyer

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