Among the goals of steady development that are regarded as landmarks for long-term perspective and new focuses of the country’s development in general and business in particular, the important place is given to gender equality, extension of rights and opportunities for women. Today, antidiscriminatory trend is one of the most urgent components in policies of European countries and businesses regulated not only by relevant international documents, but also by gender quotes applied in politics and business.
For the second consequent year, the Yurydychna Gazeta conducts special Ukrainian Women in Law survey that helps to identify the role of women in the national legal business who due to their professional, social, civil activity make an impact on development of the society, shape main trends of certain practices in particular branches of law, make contribution to dynamic growth of the professional field as well as civil, social and political life of this country.
The survey was conducted in the form of questionnaires and was based on the data received as feedback from law firms.
The criteria of the Ukrainian Women in Law 2017 survey are as follows:
International recognition by being listed in generally recognized international ratings: The Chambers, The Legal 500, IFLR 1000, Best Lawyers;
- Recognition based on expert opinion of the Yurydychna Gazeta editor’s team;
- Social and civil activity including participation in professional events, professional organizations, legislative initiative, efficient cooperation with civil society institutions;
- Publicity index that includes analysis of references to female lawyers in sources, internet editions, news lines of news agencies, newspapers represented in the Internet in Ukrainian, Russian, and English languages;
- Support from colleagues defined by number of votes in questionnaires.
Expert assessment was made using special procedure taking into account analysis of three criteria: professional performance (high professional achievements, authority in professional circles); impact on a branch of law; personal popularity and charisma.
One of the main criteria of the Ukrainian Women in Law 2017 survey was popularity index – index showing their activity on the market. The Yurydychna Gazeta editor’s office analyzed frequency of references to women lawyers in mass media in 2016. Analysis of information sources was conduced based on Google, Яндекс search engines and calculated by special calculation formula for quantitative indicators obtained as a result of monitoring of the said search engines and relative to quality of publications. The publications on corporate websites, blogs, and personal Internet resources were not considered to in number of references. The analysis of media presence allowed us to distinguish 12 leaders among women lawyers. Monitoring of references in mass media is a certain indicator of activity of the market allowing shaping main trends of 2016.
According to the results of the Ukrainian Women in Law 2017 survey, three leaders who made an impact on development of the national business due to their activity have been identified. The winners of this nomination were determined by the following criteria:
- Nomination in the above ratings;
- Position of an equity partner in the firm and an owner of the business for at least 3 recent years;
- Active civil position on the market, participation in law related activities in this country;
- Highest scores received from colleagues.
As a result of the Ukrainian Women in Law 2017 survey, the editor’s office nominated women lawyers who are the most successful on the Ukrainian market of legal services according to the Yurydychna Gazeta.
This year, the Ukrainian Women in Law 2017 offered two new nominations: successful women – corporate lawyers and successful women lawyers: politicians and government officials. The questionnaire offered 5 most efficient women lawyers who today joined ranks of state officials and politicians, and 5 most competent women corporate lawyers.
According to the results of the survey, difference in number between women and men among managing partners and partners in the national legal business is considerable. However, if compared with the results of the last year in the category of managing partners, such difference has reduced by 7%. In 2015, women constituted 13% of managing partners while in 2016 - 20%.
Economic and political crises strengthened positions of women on the managerial level. Female “managing hand” offers certain advantages in the period of crises and allows surviving the challenges with lesser losses, ensures comprehensive approach to a firm’s progress, enhances its reputation, and attracts more investors to the firm. Last year also saw women to return from politics to their own businesses. In 2015, 37% of partners were represented by women, and in 2016 this share decreased down to 32%.
The most considerable positive changes have been noted in the category of counsels: 23% of women in 2015 compared to 41% in 2016. Even the law firms positioning themselves on the market as strictly “male” firms and promoting their “traditional man style” management hire women lawyers as counselors today. The indexes in categories of senior associates and associates have stayed almost unchanged: 49,5% compared to 51% in 2016 and 51% compared to 53% in 2016. It is traditional that the biggest part of women in legal business are hired on positions not related directly to law (marketing, PR-management, finances and secretarial services) – 70% in 2015 compared to 74% in 2016.
Our goal was not to give profound analysis of the reasons behind such division. The survey has rather informative task intended to create better understanding and evaluation of real potential the women lawyers have in their profession as well as in civil activity. We are confident to state that success in business, including legal business, is founded on the main factor – specific potential of an individual, realization of one's own maximum potential and possibilities, active participation and high responsibility for the outcome. The only motivation in business is to reach certain goals set. Modern world undergoes rapid transformation with boundaries fading and stereotypes ruining. Everyone has equal opportunities to do what one likes and build up one’s carrier. The key criterion on the labour market remains the same - professionalism.
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