The issue of retaining women hits us at all levels and all fields. Girls studying sciences past GCSEs (about 20% in engineering, technology and computer science) is mirrored by the number of women in STEM industries (21%). The numbers are only slightly better in government (29% elected MPs) and the judiciary (28%) and law firm partnerships (29%).
A recent study reported there 45,782 fee-earners in law firms in the UK. 50.6% of these are women. At Partner level this figure drops to 29.0%. Some US surveys indicate that only 25% of IP lawyers are women. But if only 4,515 of the 15,569 people leading private practice are women, that begs the question – where did all the women go?