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Society advances plans to tackle pay gap

13 March 2006

The Law Society of Scotland and the Equal Opportunities Commission Scotland are planning to circulate a draft action plan to close the gender pay and opportunities gap.

Last November the Society revealed that a survey of solicitors' earnings showed a massive gap between men and women in the profession, increasing with seniority. A report from the government-sponsored Women and Work Commission has since revealed the median pay gap between male and female lawyers as 21%, compared with 13% for all occupations.

Neil Stevenson, the Society's Deputy Director of Education, said the Society is reviewing internally a first draft of its proposals to address the gap, before circulating them to some of those who took part in the Society's survey.

Ideas under consideration include providing specific careers advice for female solicitors, formal career breaks and encouraging equal pay audits in firms, together with training on discrimination issues as part of continuing professoinal development.

Women entrants to the profession continue to outnumber men. On present trends, by 2011 there will be more female than male solicitors.