In Conversation with Dame Hazel Genn

 

“Why is it we have a large number of women at the lower levels and yet somehow we have lower proportions at the higher levels and very, very small proportions at the highest levels of leadership?”

 

“There are things that have changed. I think there is far less direct discrimination, but I think there is still a degree of unconscious bias in recruitment. There is also the problem of self-exclusion by women, so although women get recruited at the lower levels they don’t progress to the highest levels. Why is that?”

 

“What needs to happen is that you need to think about it, you need to work at it and you need to keep on working at it. You need to draw women into that conversation to find out from them what they see as the difficulties.”

Mishcon Academy:
In Conversation with Dame Hazel Genn
Dean of the UCL Faculty of Laws

Dame Hazel Genn
Dean of the UCL Faculty of Laws
I am interested in the extent to which women have progressed within the law but in what I see as continuing barriers to their further progression. I don’t think it is something that is unique to the law. I’m employed in academia and we have exactly the same kinds of conversations about why it is that we have large numbers of women at the lower levels and yet somehow or other we have lower proportions at the higher levels and very, very small proportions at the highest levels of leadership.

There are some things that have changed so I think that there is far less direct discrimination in recruitment, I think that there is still a degree of unconscious bias in recruitment but I think there is also the problem of self-exclusion by women, so although women get recruited at the lower levels they don’t progress to the highest levels. Why is that? If I wanted to know the answer to the question, what I would do is kick Anthony out of the room, kick out all of the senior people and have the women around here and I’d say okay, tell me, why? I think having this kind of conversation is very helpful, saying, look we are very keen for women to progress to the highest levels, we want our talented women to reach their full potential and I think that what needs to happen is you need to think about it, you need to work at it, and you need to keep on working at it and you need to draw women into that conversation to find out from them, what do they see as the difficulties and what kinds of policies or practices would help them to take that step to the next level.