One of my favourite and most memorable interviewees while working as the litigation reporter on The Lawyer news desk was Dinah Rose QC of Blackstone Chambers. Here was a woman, mum of two at the time, breaking through glass ceilings to be regarded as one of the best public law barristers in the country. Yet, despite securing pupillage at a set with two female silks, when Dinah first arrived in Chambers in the early 1980s, she told me, her senior male peers asked her to “play mother” and “make the teas”.
Historical sexism in the legal profession means that women have long been under-represented at the top of the industry.
More women than men are now entering the profession, yet in 2018 women made up just 19 percent of equity partners in British law firms, according to PwC, while a McKinsey study from 2017 showed the same figure.