As law firms attempt to improve their records on diversity and gender equality, they should ask themselves why women are still largely absent from the various international rankings of the top specialized lawyers.

Corporate departments of large firms still, for the most part, employ middle-aged men in such practice areas as M&A, for example. Many women, of course, have the same or higher expertise and training as their male counterparts. But the lawyers from Anglo-American global firms who interact with investment bankers are still mostly males between the ages of 28 and 45—lawyers perceived to be single-minded, tireless and fast.