#Womandla – actively playing our part to close the gender gap

Despite the benefits of gender parity and a representative economy, and for all the talk of progress, women remain the single-largest untapped economic driver in the global economy.

If the world can achieve gender parity throughout the world, we can raise world gross domestic product (GDP) by a significant margin, with as much as 26%, the entire economies of the US and China put together, research from McKinsey shows.

Unfortunately women are not expected to reach economic parity with men until 2234, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest annual Global Gender Gap Report. The report also shows a deterioration in women’s economic standing over the past several years.

At the current rate of change, it will take 217 years to close the global economic gap between the genders — 47 years longer than projected in 2016 and 99 years longer than predicted in 2015, according to the WEF.

It is evident that society as a whole has a long way to go in terms of paying women what they are worth and the world achieving gender parity.

Disrupting this trend and igniting the global economy through women is an obvious benefit. At Hogan Lovells our commitment to the global empowerment of women and girls is one of our firm’s core citizenship values.  

Empowering Girls and Women

Hogan Lovells lawyers have devoted more than 75 000 hours to our Empowering Girls and Women Initiative, a program that has partnered with more than 45 non-profit organisations, including Barefoot College and Kids in Need of Defense.

Hogan Lovells has a three year partnership with Barefoot College, a global non-profit organisation working on four continents in ultra-poor communities by training and empowering women and supporting female engineers.

The firm has seen through the first year of this partnership that the empowerment of women in last mile communities is not only good citizenship, but also good business.

Equal Pay for equal work

Numerous studies show that mixed teams with a significant proportion of women are more successful. Although statutory quotas have been introduced in certain countries, including the UK, efforts need to be intensified to achieve real change.

Hogan Lovells is an equal pay employer, ensuring fair and competitive reward for equivalent work. We are committed to workplace equality and to recruiting, retaining and advancing a diverse workforce where all our people can be themselves and feel empowered to succeed. We were recognised as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women for the sixth time in 2017.

Like any other corporate objective, an increase in the proportion of women in management positions can only be implemented if it is linked to corresponding measures and is quantifiable. 

Women are still underrepresented in managerial positions. In the majority of the 67 countries with data from 2009 to 2015, fewer than a third of senior- and middle-management positions were held by women, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

It is important for all women to show a heightened awareness right from the beginning of their working lives. It is strategically clever for women to position themselves in order to help each other. Things will only change if women in particular champion this cause and actively promote other women.

Women@HL and Women of Achievement

Hogan Lovells’ “Women@HL” programme specifically supports and promotes female lawyers on their way to becoming partners.

The firm is a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles and our CSR and Pro Bono strategy is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on Goal 5 – Gender Equality.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognise that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs. Gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), although gender inequality persists worldwide.

According to the UN, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination.

In 2017, our Empowering Women and Girls Initiative was named Pro Bono Initiative of the year at the Lawyer Awards. The initiative, addressing gender-based violence and supporting educational and work-related opportunities for girls and women, is the law firm’s focus for CSR and Pro Bono work.

Through our Empowering Girls and Women Initiative, Hogan Lovells tackles gender-based violence, promotes girls’ education, and supports women in business.

When we stand up for the rights of girls and women, we create a better future for all of us.

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