Lawyer Monthly Magazine -December 2019 Edition

30 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | DEC 2019 Nikki Alderson has 19 years’ experience at the Criminal Bar and now works as a specialist Corporate and Executive Coach: • Supporting law firms and Chambers to attract and retain female talent; and • empowering female lawyers to achieve career ambitions. Nikki has learnt a lot from her successful career as a barrister, having gained great insights into the responsibilities, pressures and “expected” career paths of those, particularly women, working in law. She sees a challenge within the profession of retaining talented females, given the dearth of women in senior partnership roles and within the judiciary, and is passionate about addressing these issues through the coaching services she provides. Although her work focuses predominantly on one to one coaching within the workplace, she also offers bespoke workshops and speaker events. She is the author of Amazon No.1 Bestseller “Raising the Bar: empowering female lawyers through coaching”. nikkialdersoncoaching/ NikkiAlderson2 nikkialdersoncoaching/ 1 content/uploads/2018/11/WCWF-Back- to-the-Bar-Final-version.pdf 2 resources/news/cba-monday- message-11-02-19/ 3 article-6699901/London-female- barrister-Joanna-Hardy-Twitter-thread- male-colleagues-joke-breasts.html 4 . uk/media/1773934/women_at_the_ bar_-_full_report_-_final_12_07_16.pdf 5 wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Women- in-leadership-in-Law-toolkit.pdf Internal Culture Challenging the hierarchical, linear business model of traditional law firms holds the key to unlocking a workable solution: Ground-breaking cultural change from within, removing “time-based targets” which tend to work against women in favour of men. Flexible Working Practices Access to flexible working seems critical to the successful retention of working parents. An effective antidote to the traditional business model is witnessing the success of “role model” lawyers and firms embracing these modern working practices; a growing number of female lawyers are taking consultancy positions and starting their own firms. Similarly, those who work flexibly are inadvertently becoming role models for the younger generations. Male Champions In the Women Leaders in Law Toolkit, The Law Society highlights that male partners who are “male champions for change” also have a significant part to play, for example: senior male figures that have challenged gender stereotypes by taking paternity leave or championing flexible working whilst still achieving senior positions. Societal Change For women with childcare responsibilities to be retained, a simple point to consider in terms of wider, societal change is the division of domestic labour. In Britain in 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics, women did almost 60% more of the unpaid work, on average, than men. Ensuring household tasks and childcare responsibilities are equally divided will go a long way to supporting the retention of working parents. External Support Support from mentoring and women’s networking groups such as Women in Criminal Law, Women Lawyers and Mothers and Women in The Law UK is invaluable. Likewise, whilst ever there is client need, I am happy stepping up to the plate to empower women through coaching, knowing from personal experience how much it influenced my decision in 2004 to stay within law and successfully so, for at least another decade. The Antidote to the Retention Challenge Nikki Alderson

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz