Firm To Live Stream Lecture With Industry Leaders
Irwin Mitchell will be one of the law firms to live stream this year’s Fiona Woolf Lecture at a number of its offices as part of its continued celebrations marking the centenary of women first being able to practice law in England and Wales.
This year’s annual lecture will take place on Thursday 12 September at The Law Society on Chancery Lane, London.
Catherine Slattery, a lawyer from Irwin Mitchell and a member of The Law Society’s Women’s Lawyers Division committee, has organised for the live stream to be shown at the firm’s headquarters in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
The lecture series was founded by the Association of Women Solicitors in 2008 to honour the achievements of Dame Fiona Woolf CBE, who was then president of the Law Society as well as other women who have reached senior positions within the profession.
Multi award winning, Dame Fiona Woolf is an inspiring figure within the legal profession. Her career highlights included working in over 38 jurisdictions, acting as a visiting professor at Harvard University, being awarded a CBE for her contribution to the UK knowledge economy and invisible earnings and serving as the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
The opening address will be given by Dame Fiona Woolf herself (6.00pm-6.15pm); followed by the guest lecture by Vidisha Joshi (6.15pm-7.00pm), the outgoing Managing Partner of Hodge Jones and Allen. Vidisha is a champion of the First 100 Years project, celebrating women’s role in the law, and a passionate advocate for inspiring young people from all backgrounds to join the legal profession.
A question and answer session follows Vidisha’s lecture (7.00pm-7.20pm), moderated by the Chair of the Women Lawyers Division Heidi Sandy; with closing remarks from Simon Davis, Deputy Vice President of The Law Society.
Law firms around the country have been invited to live stream the prestigious lecture and the viewing will be the latest in a string of events planned at Irwin Mitchell to celebrate the centenary.
Part of their celebrations saw Irwin Mitchell’s diversity networking group focusing on gender and career related issues, IM Powered, develop a timeline illustrating the progression of women at the firm since it was founded in 1912. Irwin Mitchell embarked on a 40 year period of growth and modernisation in the 1970s that has seen the workforce become one of the most diverse and inclusive in the legal sector.
Today, 30% of Irwin Mitchell’s executive board, 44% of partners, 62% of associates and 65% of the firm’s senior associates are now women, while the firm had the 7th lowest gender pay gap out of 109 law firms in 2018.
Expert Opinion“Following the development of our own women in law timeline, I wanted to give colleagues the opportunity to hear more about our history in the wider industry. Irwin Mitchell’s own timeline shows just how far we have come and while there is still work that remains to be done, the position of women in law is worlds away from the early days. Our focus for the future is to take a more intersectional approach to gender equality.”
“By live streaming this event, we want to increase visibility and awareness of the contribution of women in law, who continue to push the boundaries and achieve senior positions. Role models are vital, and we must not forget some of the early pioneers like Fiona Woolf herself, who have made this possible.” Catherine Slattery - Associate Solicitor
Many of the firm’s next generation of young female lawyers are now being recognised for their achievements. Chrissie Wolfe from the Birmingham office was named Solicitor of the Year at the Birmingham Law Society Awards in March 2019; while Ania Bean from the London office won the prestigious 2019 PIC Clinical Negligence Rising Star Award in July 2019.
Chrissie has also been shortlisted for the 2019 Junior Lawyer of the Year Award and is a finalist in the ‘Downtown In Business’ City of Birmingham Business Awards, where she is a finalist in the 2019 Woman of the Year Award – all set to be announced in October 2019.