The Supreme Court Judge, Lord Sumption, has provoked a substantial debate on his comments regarding women reaching the higher echelons of the Judiciary.
One of the most pertinent ripostes has been from distinguished QC, Dinah Rose: ‘To see him say that it is women's....reluctance to work long hours, that is the barrier to women reaching the top ranks of the judiciary suggests there are no structural barriers impeding women’s professional progress.’
As an esteemed historian as well as a Judge, Lord Sumption, should perhaps have referred to the struggles faced by women to ensure gender equality at all levels and in all professions.
Look out for Byfield's Insight Report on social mobility in the legal sector, launching next month, which will be addressing issues like this.
Judge attacked over gender equality One of Britain’s most senior judges has provoked a furore among female lawyers after saying that a push for a more equal gender balance at the top of the judiciary could have “appalling consequences” for justice. Lord Sumption’s comments also came under fire from Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the new shadow lord chancellor, who described them as “deeply worrying” and said that they should be rejected by the rest of the judiciary. The Supreme Court justice suggested that it would take 50 years before the number of women on the bench matched that of the total of men, adding that a lack of female judges was mainly the result of “lifestyle choice” by women unwilling to work long hours.