By Ryan Benjamin
Two Nottingham lawyers have started a group for women in business which aims to take the hard sell out of networking.
Jayne Harrison is a director at Cleggs Solicitors in Wilford and set up the group with her colleague Emma Tegerdine.
A 2014 study by the Chambers Student Guide revealed more than three-quarters of surveyed law firms featured less than 30% of women on their staff.
Ms Harrison said: “Women comprise just 24% of the partnership at your average commercial law firm in the UK.
“However, in recent decades, female solicitors have made up over 50% of the new entrants to the profession.”
The top five law firms in the UK, known as the ‘Magic Circle’, have a mere 18.8% of their female trainees going onto to senior roles.
But Cleggs bucks this trend and Ms Harrison said: “We have seven partners of which four are female. This, in my experience, is unusual.”
After the success of another networking group at her previous firm, Ms Harrison decided to lead another one.
She added: “At my last firm I set up a very similar initiative to assist women to do business with each other.
“This was very successful, hence why I decided to set up a group in Nottingham.”
Some business networking groups meet during unsociable hours which can be difficult to attend for people with families.
Ms Harrison wants to work around that, saying: “Some networking groups are not family friendly and can start at 6:45am.
“We therefore decided to hold a meeting for women that was family friendly and start the group at 5pm until 6pm.
“We want the meeting to be informal and to take the hard sell out networking.”
The first meeting will take place at Cleggs Solicitors in Ruddington Lane, Wilford on 11th May from 5-6pm.