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25 February 2013
Will coming out hurt your career? According to lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) lawyers who have made the leap, the answer is no.
At an event hosted at the Law Society this week, the lawyers, brought together by the Law Society and its lesbian, gay and bisexual steering group, will argue that there are great careers to be had by LGB lawyers, whether in private practice or in-house.
Though past research into the career advancement of LGB lawyers has indicated problems, many solicitors at top firms as well as rural practices are comfortable being known as gay.
According to Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, much of this is due to a change of heart in the legal sector.
She said: "There are more gay-friendly workplaces. Most firms understand that if their staff can't be themselves at work, they will be unhappy and less effective.
"More employers are investing in diversity and inclusion, so coming out is becoming less of a hurdle for LGB lawyers.
"There are still far too few success stories, stories of people who are out and who have brilliant careers. We have to get these stories out. I wouldn't want anyone to be discouraged from a career in law because they think you can't make it if you're out - because you can."
Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson said:
“Workplaces that are more inclusive are also more productive. So it’s vital that employers strive to promote a working environment that motivates, supports and draws on the talents of all its employees.
“People should be valued as individuals. This event organised by the Law Society is a great example of how the legal sector is engaging and empowering its lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.”
The event will take place at the Law Society on Wednesday 27 February.