New Survey Reveals What Women (Lawyers) Want

Survey conducted by the Women Lawyers Association of NSW reveals the two top priorities of women lawyers in 2014.

The Women Lawyers Association of NSW, the peak body representing women lawyers in NSW, today released the results of its online survey on the change women lawyers most want to see in the profession. President of WLANSW, Natasha Walls said “We wanted to depart from the usual rhetoric of asking women to consider the biggest problem in the profession and instead we gave a list of five aspirational changes and asked – which future would make the biggest difference to you?”

The survey was open from November 2013 to January 2014. In addition to responses from the WLANSW corporate and individual membership, one third of responses were from women lawyers who were not members of the organisation giving a meaningful snapshot of women lawyer’s priorities.

The survey results gave WLANSW crucial insight into what women lawyers in NSW want, revealing two key priorities for women in the coming year. Firstly, women want a profession that genuinely offers flexibility. “The research is clear; companies with adaptive and agile cultures financially outperform those who do not. In 2014, we want to see flexibility in law firms leap off the agenda of HR and onto that of finance” said President of WLANSW, Natasha Walls.

A very close second was leadership – women lawyers saying they will supply the talent, but want support to break down impediments to reaching leadership positions. The results also put a transformation of billing models and a thriving social network on the agenda:

–   25.2% of respondents wanted a more flexible legal profession, where work/life balance can be achieved.

–   24.7% of respondents wanted a legal profession where talented women have what they need to progress unimpeded into leadership positions.

–   17.1% of respondents wanted a transformation of traditional billing models in the legal profession to recognise value rather than hours spent at your desk

–   16.8% of respondents wanted a thriving social and professional network of women lawyers in NSW

–   16% of respondents wanted a network of support and resources for women wanting to start or maintain a legal practice

President of WLANSW, Natasha Walls said “The organisation has already started taking action in response to the results. We are weeks away from launching some exciting new initiatives”. These changes include the launch of a new Women Lawyers Network, which is designed to empower and inspire women to create the career they want. The Women Lawyers Network by WLANSW has already secured event sponsorship for two new event series in 2014 aimed at inspiring and educating women lawyers with the ‘unwritten rules’ of corporate success.
The organisation is encouraging women lawyers in NSW to renew or apply for membership to access an impressive line-up of new resources and innovative events for 2014.

For further information in relation to the survey, please contact:

Kathryn McKenzie, Executive Officer 0466 157 087

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