According to this article written by Angela Priestly and published on Women's Agenda on 28 November 2014, almost 70% of employees in the legal profession are female, but don't expect anything like that figure when it comes to the sector's top management positions. And don't even think for a minute that women working in the profession would be earning anything like their male counterparts.

According to data released by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency this week, the Australian legal sector is doing particularly poorly when it comes to workplace gender equality. And it's especially true when it comes to pay, with women working full-time in law earning an average 35.6% less than their male counterparts.

Sixty six legal organisations reported to WGEA, covering a total of 28,109 employees. It's clear the legal profession has long had a problem when it comes to the still too few number of women in partnerships, but never before has the true imbalance of the profession's gender composition been so evident.

WGEA found women make up just 6.5% of 'CEO/Head of business' positions in the legal sector (compared with a total average of 17.3%). This is despite the fact that women hold 36.3% of the next layer down of management positions and 30.6% of 'general manager'positions — both higher than the average across all industries, at 26.1% and 27.8% respectively.

Go two more management layers down and women appear to be doing particularly well — holding 44.9% of 'senior manager' positions and 60.2% of 'other manager' positions.

But something is clearly going wrong on the way to the very top.

Meanwhile, something is seriously askew with pay and it's not something that can be blamed on 'women not negotiating for bonuses' alone. The total remuneration gap is 35.6%, just slightly under the 35.8% base remuneration gap. (The pay analysis does not include equity partner remuneration.)

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