Law Society International Women’s Day Webinar – 9 March

Taking big strides: Eradicating micro aggressions to achieve gender equality in the legal profession

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women and to contribute to a growing global community committed to take action on gender equality.

In March 2022, the Law Society will be focusing its international discussion on the topic of eradicating micro aggressions as a way of achieving gender equality in the legal profession.

Micro aggressions are defined as subtle slights, which can be offensive or hurtful. There are varying categories of workplace micro aggressions and the most common are micro-assaults, microinsults and microinvalidations. Each type can have a lasting impact on the person’s ability to experience belonging, social acceptance, self-esteem, and overall well-being. One of the defining characteristics of micro aggressions is how difficult, frustrating, or risky they can be to confront. In recent times, there has been greater exposure to many forms of micro aggressions and a new awareness about their detrimental impact.

To create a more equal and balanced profession, we all need to take responsibility, be more understanding, and learn to be self-reflective whenever we are biased. For that reason, the purpose of this session will be to discuss:

  • What are micro aggressions? What are some examples of these micro aggressions? What might be the specific impact of each?
  • To what extent are you aware of how often you and/or others around you use micro aggressions when speaking with or about others of another gender, race, etc.?
  • What are the risks associated with confronting micro aggressions?
  • How can we, as lawyers, contribute to becoming more self-aware of micro-aggressions to eliminate them from our language?

Sign up here.

Virtual Bristol Distinguished Address Series: I.Stephanie Boyce, President, The Law Society

I.Stephanie Boyce will talk about her journey to becoming the first President of colour of the Law Society, the barriers that she has and continues to break down. Stephanie is determined to inspire everyone, regardless of their background, to join the solicitor profession, should they wish to do so.

Registration is now open for this upcoming virtual event from UWE as part of their Spring Bristol Distinguished Address Series line up.

Find out more information and sign up here.

UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Webinar – 22 November

According to UN Women, sexual harassment, and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces, both in urban and rural settings, are an everyday occurrence for women and girls in every country around the world. Women and girls experience and fear different forms of sexual violence in public spaces, from unwelcome sexual remarks and gestures, to rape and femicide. It happens on streets, in and around public transportation, schools, workplaces, public toilets, water and food distribution sites, and parks.

Depending on the social circumstances – where and how we live – women gather experiences of safety and danger, which are based on the everyday violence in the public sphere, negatively impacting their physical and mental well-being. A recent survey for UN Women UK found that 71% of women of all ages in the UK said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces, of which men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators. According to the OECD, violence against women (VAW) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) constitutes a pervasive issue, which culminates into high rates of femicides – or feminicides. The LAC region holds the highest rates of femicide around the world. In 2018, 3,529 women were killed across the entire region because of their gender.

In the Middle East and North Africa, 40–60 per cent of women have experienced street-based sexual harassment. Women said the harassment was mainly sexual comments, stalking or following, or staring or ogling. Liberia recorded a 50% increase in gender-based violence in the first half of this year. Between January and June, there were more than 600 reported rape cases. The number for the whole of 2018 was 803 in the West African country.

This event is organised with the Institute for African Women in Law.

Find out more and sign up here.

Considering the importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in your risk management framework

There are a number of risk areas that could be affected if firms do not consider and integrate EDI into their processes and risk management frameworks; increasingly there are reputational and financial risk if companies are not taking steps on EDI, as well as increasing potential to affect firms’ Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) too.

This Law Society webinar will provide advice and case studies on what small to medium firms can do to ensure compliance and progressive diversity and inclusion practices. The discussion will explore the importance of including EDI within risk management frameworks. It will consider: the legal risks and employee expectations around EDI; client demands for better EDI practice from firms and how it can help you get and retain business; and the importance of creating inclusive and supportive cultures for improved staff mental health and well-being, better decision-making and ethical conduct.

You will hear from a range of professionals in the sector to explore the full range of EDI topics and issues that firms need to consider in their risk frameworks and policy structures.

This event aims to address all elements that firms should consider in their planning and operations going forward to mainstream EDI as an important component in risk management.

The webinar will go live from 2.00pm – 3.00pm on Thursday 2 December 2021

Find out more information and book your place here.

Reignite Academy: Return to Law: Stories, Advice & Inspiration from Reignite Alumni

Over the last three years Reignite Academy helped almost 50 lawyers reignite their legal careers. Some had taken complete breaks, others were working in a different field, some were still in the law but working below their potential. All were at a point when they were ready to get their legal careers back on track.

Join Reignite Academy for a panel event on 30 September where we will hear their stories and draw on their experience to provide advice for others. They will discuss:

  • How do you know it’s the “right” time?
  • How do law firms now approach flexible working and work from home?
  • Where do you start when thinking about reigniting your career?
  • How do you deal with the career break on your CV?
  • How easy is it to get back up to speed?
  • What are the biggest challenges?
  • What are the keys to success?
  • How do you navigate the first few months?
  • What support is on offer?

Find out more and sign up here.

Law Care Launch Event: Life in the Law – 28 September

Join Law Care to discover the findings of their research study Life in the Law. The research into mental health and wellbeing in the legal sector, the first of its kind in the UK, was carried out from October 2020 to January 2021 and over 1,700 professionals from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man took part.

The aim of the research was to take a snapshot of the mental health and wellbeing of the legal profession and help inform future steps the profession must collectively take to improve the culture and practice of law to better support wellbeing.

Find out more and sign up here.

InDivisible: Radically rethinking inclusion for sustainable business – LegalWomen and SEAL joint event 14th Sept

LegalWomen is delighted to partner with the Society of English and American Lawyers (SEAL) for a discussion with the authors of a new book INdivisible.  Diversity statistics are important but more is needed to create an inclusive workplace.  The authors discuss how to engage people in discussion and provide sample questions to kick these off. 

If you would like to join, please register here – it’s free!

Diversity and Inclusion conference 2021

Following the successful event held in 2020, Leeds Law Society and the Law Society of England and Wales are again holding a free virtual diversity and inclusion conference around National Inclusion Week from 14 to 30 September 2021.

With a theme of ‘Promoting a modern, diverse and inclusive profession’, the conference will consist of virtual events across six days. Each will focus on a particular strand of diversity and inclusion:

The events will comprise talks and panel discussions with leading figures, together with hints and tips on diversity and inclusion best practice. Confirmed speakers include; Lady Hale, Lord Shinkwin and Judge Victoria McLoud, together with representatives from #10000BlackInterns, LawCare and The Bridge Group.

They will also be sharing pre-recorded content around religion and belief, age and intersectionality which will be available soon. 

Please click on the events listed above to book or, alternatively, find all available events listed here

Law Society: Women in leadership in law – 17 June

The legal profession is changing. Women solicitors now make up over half of the profession (52%). However, progress towards achieving gender balance at senior levels is slower – less than a third of partners (31%) in private practice firms are women. The pandemic also threatens to derail the momentum that has been building to get more women in leadership in law. According to a recent Law Society poll, the majority of women solicitors believe the pandemic will have a negative impact on gender equality in the profession, making the need to focus on diversity and inclusion and drive change even more important.

In this event, the Law Society will reflect on a year where the pandemic radically changed ways of working. They will consider the opportunities and challenges for women’s career progression, work-life balance, and mental health and well-being. They will look at how existing gender equality initiatives, including the Law Society’s Women in Law Pledge, can be effective levers for change. The distinguished panel will discuss issues such as the role of senior leaders and target setting in driving change, how to build an inclusive culture, and the need to address the differential outcomes for different groups of women.

Sign up here.

Bristol Law Society Webinar: You are on mute! Lessons from Lockdown – 12 May

Bristol Law Society in association with LawCare invites WLD members to an online panel discussion “You are on mute! Lessons from Lockdown! on 12 May at 1pm (via Zoom).

WLD Chair, Coralie McKeivor will be chairing the panel. She will be joined by:

  • Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare,
  • Ellen Netto, Solicitor at VWV and National Rep for Bristol JLD
  • Edward Thompson, Associate at Battens Solicitors
  • Caroline Turner-Inskip, Partner at Simmons & Simmons LLP
  • Martin Palmer, Director of Business Development and Marketing at Clarke Willmott.

The panellists will share their views and experiences over the past 12 months, particularly in relation to flexible and remote working, managing their work/life balance and the impact that this has had on their wellbeing as well as their views on the return to the office and a new normal way of working.

They will also be considering the impact the last 12 months have had on the legal profession as a whole and opportunities going forward.