The future is female – how will the next generation of women in law shape the legal professions? A panel of six young legal professionals, Victoria C. Abplanalp, Sophie Natlacen, Christian Demmelbauer, Alina Drack, and Doruntina Berisha, moderated by Alice Stocker, addressed this question by discussing current challenges and possible solutions.
Take noticeable action instead of pink washing
Although the panellists agreed that women in law have already come a long way, they expressed their frustration and impatience with the status quo. They concluded that unconscious biases towards women and the persistent gender pay gap still affect female legal professionals. Furthermore, the panellists questioned the lack of transparency in the legal professions and criticised that pink and diversity washing oftentimes eclipse authentic discussions on gender equality. In response to these challenges, the young panellists suggested fostering gender equality in corporate culture, strengthening the position of confidential ombudspersons, and introducing upward feedback loops which allow employees to evaluate their bosses. In addition, the panellists highlighted the necessity of self-reflection, human interactions, mutual appreciation and understanding in the legal professions and encouraged men to join in the discussion on gender equality.
Bring in male allies to accelerate change
Considering digitization and new work, the panellists finally elaborated on gender bias in (legal) technologies and pinpointed that technology, in particular Artificial Intelligence, is only as good as the incoming data.