Global law firm Clyde & Co has today launched an innovative new training programme aimed at helping to ensure that female lawyers and senior staff at the firm are well-equipped with the skills and tools needed to successfully build their profiles in today's fast moving, 24/7, digitally-enabled world.
The programme, which will run throughout 2019, includes training in social media, on camera interview technique, presentation skills, writing for offline and online audiences, creating a personal brand, and effective networking. All the training will also be available to men but will be particularly promoted to women at the firm to encourage greater gender balance in the firm's approach to marketing, business development and communications.
While women make up nearly half (46%) of the lawyer population and one quarter of partners at Clyde & Co, on average across the firm globally less than 20% of external spokespeople quoted in the media are female.
Mun Yeow, Partner and member of the firm's Global Management Board, says: "As is well known, the legal profession continues to suffer from a perception of being a male-dominated industry. Thanks to the great work of very many people across the profession that is slowly being eroded but we still have a long way to go. Through this initiative we hope, as a firm, to engage more of our people in that process by presenting a more gender-balanced brand to our clients and the wider market.”
Liz Jenkins, Partner and the newest member of the Global Management Board, says: “It's my firm belief that women are sometimes more reticent than men to put themselves forward for profile raising and personal brand building opportunities. Our own experience and figures also suggest that. What we want to do with this programme is to challenge the status quo and provide all our lawyers, but especially our female lawyers, with training to help them develop the skills to promote their expertise and the business confidently and professionally.”
As part of the initiative, and in the run up to International Women's Day on 8 March 2019, Clyde & Co will also seek to involve female spokespersons in as many media interviews as possible.
Simon Konsta, Senior Partner says, "Having the ability to promote your practice and expertise is core for any successful lawyer but as a greater part of law firms' branding and service offerings move online, the way you effectively achieve that promotion is also changing. That requires all of our lawyers and senior leadership to learn new skills but has also provided us with the opportunity to step back to make sure that we're reflecting our gender balance in our communications and marketing. For this reason we are especially encouraging our female lawyers and staff to get involved in this programme and to showcase their skills and expertise."
The training package will be administered through the firm's Learning and Development team, working in tandem with its Communication team, and will be added to the firm's career development framework. Progress will be tracked throughout 2019. The initiative is part of a wider programme of initiatives across the firm to encourage greater gender balance in a range of business development activities including client pitches and events.
Stephen Doggett, Global Head of Communications, says: "We are a global business that is online 168 hours every week. With the flexibility of today's communication tools and the range of channels available to us, there is no reason why any of our professionals should not be confident and involved in building their and the firm's profile online and offline in order to develop business."