Red Lion Chambers celebrates International Women’s Day 2019

March 8, 2019

with female barristers reflecting on Women In Law and how they mark this important day:

Gillian Jones QC, joint-Head of Chambers at RLC suggests improvements that would aid progression of women working at the Bar:

“A true appreciation of the challenges women still face in their everyday working lives, not just lip service. Practical help and advice with parental and caring leave and subsequent return to work. Changes in our working practices from chambers to the courtrooms to promote and retain women within the profession. Upward and downward mentoring so we all understand the issues we face. Create a working environment that empowers women by offering help, support and inspiration. Encourage women to aim high and not to give up – solidarity!”

Kate Bex QC comments on why 100 years of Women In Law has been significant for her:

“In previous years IWD passed me by unnoticed and I was mildly ashamed recently to read that it has occurred for well over a century. But for the last twelve months I have been inspired by daily tweets celebrating the first hundred years since the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 and the effect that had on women in the law. Without those women, I would not have the career I cherish and it is clear I owe them a daily debt of gratitude. On 8 March I’ll celebrate the on going campaign for women’s equality in all walks of life.”

Valerie Charbit encourages work life balance for women:

“Support understanding and a realisation that we lose so much if we don’t help women. Allow a better work life balance, support each other, be realistic and honest about how the burden of caring responsibilities rests on women and so acknowledge that and realise we can’t do it all without some accommodation. Supporting their successes, sharing our experiences and realising that there is strength in numbers!”

Patricia Londono talks about what IWD means to her:

“From a Bar perspective, it means honouring the courage and tenacity of those who have gone before us as well as today’s pathbreakers who continue to break glass ceilings for women. For me, it also means celebrating the quieter efforts of women every day in sticking with and contributing to this profession. More generally, every day should be International Women’s Day!”

Thoughts on Gender Equality:

“We have come a long way in 100 years. Today, however inequality tends to me more insidious than explicit. We need to be more mindful of the more subtle ways that it can manifest and be unafraid to speak up and tackle it in our working environments.”

Women and family:

“Some women have less linear career paths – usually because of family commitments. I came to the bar after a career in academia (which was more family friendly), having gone to university as a mature student, a parent with sole responsibility for a disabled child. Some women will take time out completely to tend to family; others will choose work that is more family friendly and provides a regular income but not necessarily the kind of work that will support that silk/judicial application. The different ways in which women’s careers develop needs to be more fully incorporated in assessing standards of excellence.”

Allison Clare explores what further progress needs to be made for Women in Law:

“IWD is a day to celebrate. It is also a day to reflect on the further progress which needs to be made, especially in making sure we retain all these experienced and talented women.”

Lucy Ginsberg reflects on her journey to the Bar and empowerment of women:

“My journey to the Bar has been supported by so many strong and encouraging women. As I progress, I am determined to do the same for the new generation of advocates. Mentoring at all stages is so important but in particular, we must empower young women to pursue this career and change working practices so that we can retain talent within the profession.”