The Women Lawyers Association South Australia has created a website that makes it easier to connect with female lawyers.
The site currently has 63 lawyers listed and the organisation aims to increase this and also include legal academics, policy and research-focused lawyers, law reform advocates, and women interested in being mentors or assisting not-for-profit organisations, according to a report by the ABC.
The site is targeted to clients looking to specifically hire a female lawyer. The goal of the site, the report noted, is to tackle gender inequality in the higher ranks of the legal profession.
The association’s president, Leah Marrone, said that women are “massively under-represented at the higher end of the profession.” She noted that women made up just 20 percent of judicial officers, about 20 percent of senior counsel and about 16 percent of equity partners.
“Woman lawyers are still facing massive discrimination, harassment, conscious and unconscious bias in the profession,” she said.
Marrone said that in the years she worked in the field of discrimination and sexual harassment, she has seen many clients who have had “very personal and difficult experiences, often from migrant backgrounds, and they often stated that they only wanted to talk to a woman about their experience and have a woman represent them”.
Marrone said some clients may prefer a woman property or corporate lawyer because of their experiences, like if they suffered domestic abuse.