Firms collaborate for better equality

Ten of Sweden's largest commercial law firms have initiated a joint project which aims to improve conditions for a more equal gender representation in the industry. Cederquist is one of these companies. “We think it should be obvious that everyone should have the same opportunity and be rewarded in the same way. Regardless of gender,” says Johan Lundberg, Managing Partner at Cederquist.

As part of the project, Level The Playing Field, which has been set up by Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and Swedish Women in Arbitration Network (SWAN), Cederquist will work together with nine other commercial law firms to find constructive and concrete suggestions on how more women in the industry can become partners. The idea is for the firms to mutually inspire and challenge each other to think in new ways and think bigger.

The women have long since constituted the majority in Sweden's law degrees. They are often at the top of their class and complete their legal studies with higher grades than the men. Six out of ten newly-employed lawyers are women. But somewhere along the line they make a choice.

“There are many talented women out there and many of them start working for Cederquist, but something happens along the way and in the end it's still mostly men who become partners. The women choose instead to work as in-house company lawyers, or choose a different career. We want to understand why women make this decision and try to change it,” he says.

The project will be launched in November 2015 and in March 2016 the project team will deliver proposals for a better way of working. The hope is that the firms will collectively be able to arrive at concrete solutions and constructive suggestions which will enable them to change the situation together.

“I am aware that this is a complex problem, but just the fact that we're raising the issue and engaging collectively is a big step forward. Then it's up to each one of us to deliver results,” says Johan Lundberg,

What is the goal for Cederquist in terms of equality issues?
“Obviously, it's to increase the proportion of female partners, but also for male partners to feel safe about taking paternal leave. This is a sensitive issue, but it affects both genders and in the end I hope that this will be a fairer industry for both men and women.”

Do you want to know more?
Contact Gabriella Westerberg, Head of Communication and Marketing at Cederquist.