In the last decade of the 20th century, the proportion of women among members of the notarial profession increased markedly, from about 40% in the 1990s to more than 60% in 2015. Among notaries counting less than 20 years of practice, the proportion of women now reaches 75%. Significant differences can be observed between male and female notaries, including with respect to their marital and parental status and the type of clients they deserve. We also noted the existence of an important wage gap between women notaries and their male colleagues, even after accounting for their years of experience and the number of hours worked.
One objective of the project is to develop recommendations aimed at favoring the retention of women notaries in the profession and improving their level of job satisfaction. To achieve this goal, we will pursue the following three objectives:
- Measure the level of satisfaction of female notaries with respect to their conditions of practice
- Identify the challenges faced by these notaries and their aspirations regarding their career development
- Identify the factors that might explain the wage gap between men and women in the profession
The project comprises a two-stage empirical research. First, we will conduct 10 to 15 interviews with women notaries at different stages of their careers. These interviews will focus on the satisfaction of women notaries, the challenges they face in their practice and the means they use to address them. As a second step, a survey will be conducted among notarial law students in order to identify the aspects of the profession they find particulary appealing and their expectations regarding their future practice. The main objective of the survey will be to assess the extent to which the expectations of students correspond with the experience of notaries.
The project received financial support from the Programme de subventions à la recherche de la Chambre des notaires du Québec.