I thoroughly enjoyed this article in The Lawyer! Well done Natasha Bernal for shaming law firms who are not looking after it's lawyers who are parents.
It is shocking that the majority of law firms won't reveal what their figures are for shared parental leave.
It is great to see highly respected publications, such as the Lawyer, writing about the urgent need to change the culture within professional services businesses so that flexible working is widely practiced. If we are to increase gender diversity across the whole of professional services, then this issue needs to be talked about, over and over and over again, until it is achieved.
"If you don’t stand up for your people, what do you stand for?"
But these figures are a symptom of a wider problem. The lack of shared parental leave uptake strikes at the heart of many of the crippling diversity and career progression issues in the UK commercial legal market. It’s not rocket science. The more leave men take, the more normal it will become. Suddenly, flexible working and agile working will be a widespread demand and not an initiative targeted exclusively (sometimes insultingly) at female lawyers. Attitudes will change towards parental leave, which would become the first step to quell the hemorrhaging of female talent forced to choose between an inflexible work environment or a manageable work-life balance outside of the law.