Children should not be a barrier to success

Children should not be a barrier to success

By Rachel Buchanan

Cherie Blair spoke to the Citymothers networking group as part of their “Speaker Series”, where high profile working mothers share their stories. The event was hosted by the Family Network at Morgan Stanley.

1976 was a milestone for the Bar. It was the first year when the female intake was over 10% (16% were women). Of the 81 barristers that year, 12 were women, and one of those women was Cherie Blair. Today, she remains the only woman of that intake in practice (along with 20 men).

The most recent statistics released by the bar council show that in 2010, while over 50% of barristers called to the bar were women, that figure gradually declines throughout the milestones of a traditional career; fewer than 12% of QCs are women and only 8% of Court of Appeal judges.

That women are still dropping out is a familiar story across the city; the barriers might be unconscious and informal, but they are still there. But what can be done about it? Even three years after graduating on an equal footing, females are likely to be paid 15% less than their male counterparts; in part due to career choices, often made in the anticipation that she will have trouble balancing further down the line.

The solution though lies in the fact that these issues are not just about women. Until we have a scenario where everyone is paid on equal footing and able to seek balance by have a fulfilling career, so far as they want, and a home life, we are never going to reach equality.

And yet how can this be achieved? We need to educate the next generation to prevent this cyc

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