Friday, 26 February 2010

Genders that get ahead in law… or get a date…

Queen's Counsel appointments are out, i.e. very senior court lawyers for any non-Brits readers, but the percentage who are women (15.5%) is pretty much the same as it was 10 years ago (list of successful applicants, stats by percentage only), in fact less in percentage terms than in 1998, which is disappointing.

I converted the figures into this graph, you'll see it's close to a flatline situation:

There's still clearly a glass ceiling, indeed a glass cliff for politicians & business executives; there's still a gender pay gap (US general research), and workplace gender inequalities endure; while in science it's been found that women researchers are less likely than men to get major career funding grants.

Even though there's little difference between the sexes in terms of math abilities, it seems that the work environment plays a big role in putting women off, at least in the case of computer science ("computer games, science fiction memorabilia and junk food"), though I guess that Star Trek posters aren't so much in evidence in law firms!

There's a clear need for more female QCs - not least because women need female role models to encourage them into a particular field, far more than men need male role models. However, it seems that unfortunately women as well as men support the traditional gender hierarchy:

"both men and women respond in a more hostile way to a woman who violates sex-role expectations, than to one who adheres to them. Secondly, that the more an individual supports social hierarchy in general (that some people should have more power and resources than others), the more hostile they responded toward a woman who violated sex-role expectations."

By way of light relief, on a far less serious note it also seems that if you're a female lawyer your chances of becoming Queen's Counsel are about the same as your chances of getting a date with a British man, according to a recent European survey by dating agency PARSHIP. See the tables below.

Clearly creative types come out tops as far as both genders are concerned. I don't know where developers and software engineers fit into this - "scientists", I suppose?

British men most want to date…

1 Artist, writer, musician - 46%
2 Doctor - 31%
3 Teacher & nurse 28%
4 Scientists & Academics 27%
5 Lawyer 16%
6 Advertising/Marketing 14%
7 Housewife 14%
8 Journalist 12%
9 Accountant 9%
10 Sales person 9%

British women most want to date a…

1 Artist, writer, musician 35%
2 Architect 30%
3 Doctor 28%
4 Lawyer 26%
5 Scientist & Academic 22%
6 Accountant 22%
7 Engineer/surveyor 21%
8 Teacher 16%
9 Advertising/Marketing 12%
10 Pilot 9%

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