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Do women in the legal profession face ‘slippery ladders’ instead of ‘glass ceilings’?

In an article for Legal Business, global chair of the financial industry group at Reed Smith Tamara Box  challenges the notion that women face slippery ladders instead of glass ceiling in the legal industry:
For the past ten years or so, a spotlight has been shone on the dearth of female leaders in the legal industry. The ‘glass ceiling’ analysis of the eighties has been replaced by the ‘slippery ladder’ explanation of the 21st century: women voluntarily drop out of the partnership track at stages farther down the ladder, leaving the pool of available partner candidates to be disproportionately male. Yet that assumption is disingenuous. If women fall off the ladder or get stuck on a rung of it, it’s generally because the culture of partnership, just like the presumption of the gender of the carpenter, is male. And no mentoring, sponsorship or diversity programme is going to change a woman into a man. –

According to the article some stereotypes are still deeply entrenched. However, gender blindness is not the antidote. Some food for thought as we reach the end of the week.
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