Committed to fostering a culture of equality and diversity, we are passionate about supporting women in the workplace. Some of the ways we do this are through career progression, representation, and by celebrating the achievements of the outstanding women in our firm.
To mark International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022, we are shining a spotlight on some of the women who make our firm what it is.
We are also proud to be taking part in the International Women’s Day Panel Event 2022, brought to you by our firm’s Women’s Committee and ACED. This event is taking place on Tuesday 8th March at 10am.
I am very much still finding my way, having joined in November. However, I look forward to making the most of an opportunity to inform and shape the culture of the firm. This includes ensuring that women are represented at all levels and, importantly, listened to and valued. As the great Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Women belong in all places that decisions are being made.”
As I have become more senior in my career, I have increasingly enjoyed working with junior lawyers and paralegals, to support, supervise and hopefully inspire. To me, this is a key part of my day-to-day role. It is all very well being a trailblazer but those in the earlier stages of their careers need support too, otherwise will they feel equipped to follow?
I am fortunate to have many! I appreciate in many countries and cultures, female role models are not so accessible. However, I’m going to keep my response to this question simple. My Aunty Eileen, my godmother, is my number one female role model.
She went the furthest in education in my maternal family, getting a place at grammar school in the 1950s, with my grandfather going to work back down the coal mine to send her there. She is incredibly bright and inquisitive, never being afraid to challenge.
Unfortunately, she was unable to continue her education as she married early and had to support and raise a family in very different, and difficult, times. I love that she is not afraid to speak her mind, even though some people may not like it – I will be working on my ability to do this until the day I die! My Aunty Eileen is always there to give advice and support and has become infamous in my circle of friends and new family, shaking her thing on the dancefloor at my recent wedding at the ripe old age of 80!
To be honest, I’d rather it wasn’t necessary! The thing is, we are still way off living in a world where men and women are treated equal. Some countries are much closer to it than others, and we are fortunate to live in one of those and so have a responsibility to work and educate those that are much further from it as well as,
still sadly, needing to promote it in the organisations in which we work.
Finding myself (before Eleanor joined the firm) as the most senior female lawyer in the UK firm was something of a shock to me. But since joining, I have met some amazing female lawyers, aspiring lawyers and team members and I have found that the most rewarding element of my role at the firm has been getting to know those women, talking to them about their career aspirations, imparting what knowledge and experience I have gained in my own career and encouraging them to advocate for themselves and carve out the career in law (or out of it) that they want.
I wouldn’t say I have a single female role model but rather that I take inspiration from numerous amazing women in different ways. I have been helped and inspired in my career by some fantastic women lawyers including being given my “big break” in the law by my first boss Sue Prevezer QC (the then managing partner of Quinn Emanuel), and then by Natahsa Harrison (now founder of Pallas Partner) who offered me my training contract. I had great female trainee supervisors in the form of Fiona Huntriss (now of Pallas Partners), Liz Osborne of Akin Gump and Sheena Buddhdev (now of Eversheds) who I have witnessed develop from associates to partners, to mothers and now emerging leaders in their fields.
I also admire and am inspired by an array of female role models such as Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Nigella Lawson, Caitlin Moran and my best friend Ruth, to name a few from the top of the list.
Plus, I should also add Gina Wright to this list – original 1980’s super working mother (but don’t tell her I said that)!
Oh my goodness… where do I start?!
IWD is important to me because we still do not live in a gender-equal world. Focussing on the career aspects of this – IWD’s mission includes to celebrate women’s achievements and increase visibility while calling out inequality: I love that sentiment and strive to do just that in the workplace.
Like many women, I am perplexed by the fact that girls outperform men in school and university, women outnumber men as trainee solicitors and NQs but seem to struggle to stay in the career to partnership and beyond. I hope this trend is changing but it is clear that something is going horribly wrong, and brilliant women aren’t progressing as they should. The workplace is poorer for it.
I really don’t know the answers to all of the questions raised, but IWD is important to me because it highlights these issues and forces us to think about how we can help fix them.
As a female in today’s modern world, I feel very strongly about IWD. In particular, I support the efforts made to achieve a more equal society for women, ending discrimination, stereotyping and inequity. I am a mother, a partner and an employee within a large successful business. For this reason, I have a vested interest in IWD, as it directly impacts every aspect of my life as a woman.
Not only am I an employee, I am in a leadership role. This is something I have worked hard for throughout my career. My leadership role directly involves me ensuring that I am actively ensuring equality and diversity within my team. As a female manager, I take gender equality very seriously, providing equal opportunities for all employees. I have worked in this field throughout my adult life, and feel very confident that I fulfil my duties to the very best of my abilities.
Since commencing employment at the firm, I have grown both professionally and personally. My leadership skills have developed, and I feel valued as a female employee within the company. I strongly believe that the firm strives for equality and diversity in the workplace, and nurtures professional growth for its employees. This is why I enjoy my role. I am supported to develop in a career and role that I hold very dear. I work with very like-minded individuals who also strive for equality. This makes me feel confident as an individual, but also valued as part of the team.
My role model is my eldest sister. I have observed for many years how independent and hardworking she is, and how she finds ways to balance her career and her family life at home as a single parent. Nothing has ever got in the way of her career as she continues to progress further in her role.
I would encourage women to grow into their current role and to continue moving forward. Offering them mentorship opportunities as this can be extremely beneficial because female employees can learn from more experienced leaders, and build their own self-confidence.
One of the things that I have always loved about marketing is that no day is ever the same. There is always something new be it a case or a client. Working across all our departments means that I get to work with virtually everybody, and that means I get to learn from everyone in different ways.
I’ve worked in legal marketing for so long because things are constantly evolving in the legal field. When we set out to generate data breach claims in 2017, I had no idea how big it could become. Looking back at what I’ve achieved both here, and my previous firms, I get to say that I have been part of creating things that are still growing today.
This is going to sound a bit corny, but alongside the women who I have watched over the years like Arianna Huffington, Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama, Brene Brown etc., my role model will always be my mum.
She moved from South Africa at 18 and trained as a nurse. My dad worked away for long periods of time when we were little, so she raised us while working full time when he wasn’t around. She always sought to improve herself and the life that we had, and progressed from ward nurse to a clinical lead whilst my sister and I were growing up.
When she was working in middle management for the NHS, someone told her that her qualifications were mid to low-level and would stop her continuing to progress her career. Therefore, despite working and raising us, she went back to university, and achieved a degree in her 40’s.
Her story is not unique, and I know people who have had things far worse. However, as a young girl I grew up with a daily reminder that if you work hard and show kindness, you can succeed. This definitely taught me what I was capable of. My work ethic definitely comes from my mum.
I started working straight after I left school, so I’ve seen a huge shift in how women have been treated in the workplace over the years. I’ve worked with some amazing female entrepreneurs and have owned a number of businesses, but despite all the advances that have been made, women are still not treated equally in so many areas.
We are still having the same discussions that we have been having for years about women in the workplace and in society.
IWD is so important because we really need to highlight the fact that we are still underrepresented in way too many areas. We aren’t safe walking home, and we are constantly having to justify our choices to society. It’s exhausting.
IWD is a chance to celebrate women all over the world for their achievements, and have important discussions about what we do next.
My role as Operations Team Lead is varied, and it is very hard to pinpoint what I enjoy the most about my role – I think that having a supportive and adaptable team around me is the best thing!
My role in Operations consists of valuing cases so we can make a claim and arranging funding for our cases. I also deal with inbound post, help with automating our systems with IT people, update and disperse daily reporting, and helping other staff with queries. I also love being Secretary for the ACED Committee!