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Firm Culture

Women in Leadership27 October 2020

At Watson Farley & Williams you will find women in a number of key leadership roles, many of whom have received high profile recognition for their work.

In recognition of our work to improve gender balance at our firm, the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) has awarded us their 2022 UK Gold Standard Certification.  This is the fourth time that we have received the certification, after being the first UK firm to receive the recognition in 2019.

Law firms with 100 or more practising lawyers in the UK are eligible for the WILEF UK Gold Standard Certification if they successfully demonstrate that women represent a meaningful percentage of their equity partners, of their governance and compensation committees and of their most highly compensated partners.

Currently in London, 26% of our Equity Partners are women and two-thirds of promotions to the global partnership in 2022 were awarded to women.  We are also proud that many of our offices and practice groups are led by women.  This is something that is reflected in our most recent Gender Pay Gap report which found that we have a negative gender pay gap at Partnership level (meaning that, on average, our female partners are paid more than men).

Globally, women make up the majority of associates and senior associates and we are pleased that we continue to develop a strong pipeline of female talent.  However, we recognise that there is still more to do to ensure we attract, retain and develop women to the most senior levels of our firm and through to the Partnership.

We have taken some concrete steps to help us achieve this, including re-engineering our Senior Associate and Partner promotion processes, providing coaching to maternity returners and offering all working parents at our firm access to workshops, practical support and resources through our relationship with WorkLife Central.

We are supporting female talent throughout our firm to network and build new connections through our We Further Women network, which aims to support the careers of women at all levels of the firm through networking opportunities, career focussed events and increased access to senior role models. We’re also committed to supporting the next generation of women leaders in the sectors in which we operate and host a series of sector focussed events which aim to empower, educate, and offer opportunities to develop supportive networks and rewarding professional relationships.