Firm Celebrates First 100 Years Of Women In Law
National firm Irwin Mitchell is launching a timeline of its women’s history to celebrate the centenary year of women being able to join the legal profession, this International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March).
This year marks 100 years since the removal of the Sex Disqualification Act, which made it possible for women to become lawyers, receive degrees from universities, sit on juries and act as magistrates.
To mark the anniversary the firm have developed a timeline of its progress in terms of gender equality over the past 100 years.
Founded by Sir Walter Irwin Mitchell in 1912, the then entirely male, Sheffield based firm concentrated on criminal law, acting on behalf of rivals in the city’s gang wars.
However, during the 1970s Irwin Mitchell embarked on a 40 year period of growth and modernisation and now has 13 UK offices offering a broad spectrum of legal and financial services.
With the expansion the firm began employing women and is now celebrating the vast progress that has taken place to ensure Irwin Mitchell has a diverse and inclusive workforce.
The firm, which had the 7th lowest gender pay gap out of 109 law firms in 2018, and was one of the first to reveal its pay gap data for Partners, is now continuing its efforts to be a great firm for women to be part of.
Unconscious bias training, blind recruitment, and a development programme for underrepresented leaders are just some of the measures being taken.
Irwin Mitchell is working with The First 100 Years Project and the Law Society to further promote gender equality within the legal profession.
Partner Alison Eddy, who runs IM Powered, Irwin Mitchell’s internal support group for gender equality issues was the firm’s first female Regional Managing Partner.
Expert OpinionWe hope that by sharing our timeline, we will highlight just how far we have come in terms of equality and raise awareness of the work that is still to be done.
Creating this picture of our history has shown us how much momentum and progress we’ve built in recent years. It’s our way of recognising those who’ve paved the way to ensuring women have an equal footing within the legal industry and celebrating those who continue to do so. Alison Eddy - Partner