Coronavirus Impact Survey

The coronavirus pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on all our lives. The Next 100 Years sought to gain an insight into the impact on women working in the legal profession by examining their experiences and evaluating the long-term consequences for the profession.

To this end, we created and shared an online survey which was completed by nearly 900 women. The findings of our survey are listed below.

Survey Findings:

1) Confidence in Business

The positive news is that the findings revealed overall confidence that firms were handling the crisis well and that business would eventually return to normal. Out of 870 women:

  • 91% of women questioned were working from home
  • 77% felt that their firm or chambers were handling the crisis well
  • 70% were expecting their businesses to bounce back once the crisis is over
  • 20% had volunteered or acted pro-bono during the crisis

2) Alarming consequences for mental and financial health

However, the survey highlighted some alarming impacts on both mental health and income, with both taking hits in the face of the crisis. Out of 870 women:

  • 66% of women said the crisis is having an impact on their mental health
  • 37% were experiencing a drop in income
  • But only 6% of employers reduced respondents’ formal work hours & 3% of respondents requested reduced hours
  • 67% reported that their employer had furloughed staff

3) Increased childcare responsibilities and difficulty juggling these

A large portion, 350 respondents, had school age children at home. The vast majority of these were taking on more childcare responsibilities and most were struggling to juggle this alongside their work responsibilities. Out of these 350 respondents:

  • 91% were taking on extra childcare and home schooling responsibilities
  • 32% were forced to reduce their working hours to do so
  • 49% said they were taking on more childcare responsibilities than their partner
  • 73% were finding the situation hard to juggle

4) Concerns for equality and diversity

Lastly, the survey revealed a couple big concerns moving forward. It is clear that many women in law are concerned about the impact the crisis will have on equality & diversity. However, there is a sense that the take up of flexible working may increase in the future. Out of 870 women:

  • 65% of respondents were concerned that the lockdown was exaggerating existing inequalities between men and women
  • Over 50% voiced concerns that the diversity initiatives will fall by the wayside as financial pressures grow post-crisis
  • 83% expect an increased acceptance of home working or flexible working after the crisis is over

Press Coverage:

 

Thank you to those who took part!

We would like to thank everyone who took our survey for sharing their input and helping us understand the impact of this crisis.