There was a real buzz in the profession last year as we celebrated the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which paved the way for women to become lawyers for the first time.

Building on this momentous event for the legal profession and our celebration of International Women’s Day last year, we are again marking the occasion in 2021 and its theme of ‘Choose to Challenge’.

Although we are unable to do all the things we would wish to in the current climate, our Bevan Brittan Diversity & Inclusion Ambassadors, who are from both legal and non-legal roles, have been working on a series of virtual events and activities:

  • Children’s story reading over Zoom

Over the past year, a colleague has set up a ‘BB Bedtime Story’ session; a series of bedtime story readings over Zoom for parents from the firm to join remotely with   their children and there will be a special one this month with the  ‘Little People, BIG DREAMS’ series. 

  • Artistic competition

We have encouraged people within the firm to pick up pens, pencils, paint, camera or any artistic medium they like to draw or photograph a picture of a woman in history.

  • Local ‘blue plaque’ walking tours

Many of us have discovered a love of walking during the pandemic and we have prepared information for people about famous women in history near each of our four offices for people to visit when safe to do so.

  • A ‘History of Women in Sport’ presentation

As well as highlighting famous female athletes, this includes a celebration of the sporting achievements of women at the firm.

  • Lunchtime webinar panel discussion and Q&A: ‘Building your Business and Living Your Life’

    Panellists Nicola McGuire of the Results Consultancy and Nikki Alderson of Nikki Alderson Coaching will discuss strategies to manage time, build effective relationships and networks and inviting our colleagues to share their business development experiences.

This International Women’s Day, the firm also announced the appointment of Jodie Sinclair as its third consecutive female Senior Partner.

Jo Easterbrook, Senior Partner and Diversity & Inclusion Lead at Bevan Brittan, said: “As well as marking International Women’s Day with a series of internal events, we are supporting the communities near our offices. We are delighted to be part of Birmingham Law Society’s campaign to put a copy of the book ‘Equal to Everything’ by Henny Beaumont and Afrua Hirsch into all Birmingham primary schools. The firm has donated £500 towards the purchase of these books to support the next generation of lawyers to be inspired.

“We are also pleased to see our colleague Marti Burgess featured in the Bristol Post as one of the city’s most influential women. As a firm we are committed to gender equality, reducing our gender pay gap and ensuring that there are no obstacles to women pursuing rewarding careers at the firm and progressing to reach their potential both in legal and non-legal roles. We have now reached a position where 41% of our partners are women and 67% of our workforce are women, and we are pleased that Jodie Sinclair will become our third consecutive female Senior Partner from 1 May 2021.”

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