Men still rule in the law – we all know it, but once again its confirmed, this time through the research conducted by the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and legal recruiters McLeod Duminy.
The ALPMA survey covered 94 firms in New Zealand, ranging from small to medium and large.
This year’s survey found that sixty four percent of senior management are women, but fewer than 20 per cent are partners.
The study also looked at wages, flexibility of work conditions and work-life balance issues and the law firm jobs market in New Zealand.
Kirsty Spears of legal recruit McLeod Duminy said that although there is a greater prevalence for bonus payments to be made as part of law firm compensation, but that such an approach could work to the disadvantage of women lawyers who are more likely to be team players.
Men are more included to focus on their career first and foremost, which can lead to an unintended pay-gap between the genders.
The ALPMA President and general manager at law firm Lowndes Jordan, Sheryll Carey said awarding bonus payments to all staff can poses an opportunity for firms to create a culture for team work.
There is a growing perception of the gender-based pay gap reducing both at the partner level and in the wider industry.
Job flexibility was also being increasingly used by law firms, says Carey. Those firms holding out from such practices would be suffering as a consequence.
“In a highly competitive market, they may struggle to retain quality staff, let alone make themselves an attractive destination for new talent,” she said.
Despite the need for more women at the partner level the legal profession is increasingly mobile with more than half of those surveyed indicating they would be hiring new staff.