Report in Brief:

Support for working parents is critical to increase the number of female partners and close the gender pay gap.

It’s not for lack of effort or investment that gender balance has flatlined across the legal sector over the past decade. During this time, many firms have increased D&I initiatives and yet progress remains stubbornly slow to retain, promote, or make up women partners at close to the same rate as men.  Today, firms are experiencing a surge in urgency to move the dial faster as more clients demand gender balanced legal teams, including senior partners. Firms face a stark choice: improve gender balance or lose business to a competitor that can.

The Parental Fog Index is designed to encourage firms to better support working parents and to market those efforts to improve retention, promotion, and gender balance within the partnership. We reviewed the websites* of 50 top UK law firms and 50 US firms based in London for evidence that they understand and support the needs of working parents.

Our intention is not to name and shame employers, but rather to highlight examples of good practice and encourage discussion.

We know that many of our clients provide more support for working parents than appears on their website. For them, this report is a call to action on the question of transparency.

*Websites analysed February 2021