It was only just over 100 years ago that The Sex Discrimination Removal Act 1919 changed the law on women being disqualified from certain professions on the grounds of sex. It gave women access to the legal profession and accountancy for the first time and meant they could also hold any civil or judicial office or post.
When I first started out in criminal law 32 years ago I still had male clients refusing to be represented by me on the basis that I was female and I was castigated for attending a magistrates court wearing a trouser suit. We have travelled a long way since the start of my career, however, we still have some way to go in achieving true equality in the legal profession.
According to recent SRA figures women solicitors make up 61% of all solicitors in England, Scotland and Wales. However, only 35% of all partners are female; a rise of 1% since 2019. So we still have a long way to go.
When I founded my own firm, I was passionate about installing a culture that respected and recognised diversity in all its forms and the importance of individual work-life balances for all my staff.
By backing this up through embracing technology and offering greater flexibility in working arrangements and opportunities for training and development, I was convinced this would maximise the strength of all my employees.
Together, we are greater than the sum of our individual parts.
At Monan Gozzett 50 percent of our solicitors and partners are female. On International Women's Day, I would like to celebrate with my female colleagues the progress and achievements we have all made to date and will continue to make together.