And so it continues, the gender gap is alive and well in the legal world. Many industries have put men and women on equal playing fields, but not in the field of law. According to the National Association of Women Lawyers Survey in 2014, the top 200 law firms in the United States recruit more than 60% female law graduates and less than 40% male graduates. Yet, the percentage of female partners in the top 100 US law firms is at a staggering 17%.
According to an HBR Blog Network post by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of the gender consulting firm 20-first, The No. 5 law firm in France, TAJ is gender-balanced at the level of equity partnerships, governance committees and all other levels. This firm is led by a man, Gianmarco Monsellato. The key to TAJ’s success is to promote people on performance.
According to the article, Monsellato’s approach is “dramatically [different] than most law firms. Most of his competitors have spent years organizing women’s initiatives, networks, or mentoring programs that have done little to increase the percentage of women reaching the top.” Monsellato states the key is the “tone from the top.” It is as simple as promoting based on performance.