International Women’s Day 2021

Moore Barlow celebrates International Women’s Day 2021

Today (8th March) is International Women’s Day, a day celebrated annually around the world to mark and recognise the achievements of all women. This year #IWD2021 theme is #ChooseToChallenge.

As a people-first business, Moore Barlow is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and to promoting a culture that supports this for all its employees. We are proud that we have 50:50 male/female equity partner ratio, along with a high proportion of part-time female equity partners, the only law firm in the Top 100 that has this ratio.

This is a day that has been celebrated by millions of people all over the world for more than 100 years. It’s a day when we can reflect on the positive changes that have happened to create equality and think about what more we can do. It’s also an opportunity to shine a light on the many inspirational stories and recognise the incredible achievements of women.

Ed Whittington, Managing Partner, Moore Barlow

Hear the voices of some of the women from within our law firm, which recognise and reflect the diversity of their experiences.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?
In truth, I recognise that it is important to many others, but I much prefer treating all human beings as that – irrespective of gender – and I look forward to a time when IWD is not required any more.

Which women have inspired you?
Lady Barbara Littlewood – the first woman to be made partner for our firm historically (1942), and who I was lucky enough to meet early in my career. She was a passionate advocate of equality between the sexes, and said she looked forward “to the time when it is not news when women get to the top, to the time when we expect it.” A great role model and inspiration.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women lawyers?
Try to live your best life. Define what’s most important to you and what you’re prepared to accommodate. Choose the organisation you work for carefully. There should be an ebb and flow between work and home, regardless of gender. At times work will take priority and at others your family, friends or community will. Look out for others, always give your best and you should have the support of the people around you when you need it.

Helen Goatley, Partner & Chair

(Helen Goatley – See photo montage above, second row, fourth from right)

Which women have inspired you?
Michelle Obama- she has forged the way for women of any background to aim high against the odds and achieve even higher goals. She’s a role model for the modern day woman as a leader, mother, wife. She has not allowed herself to be redefined by her role as the first lady and continues to have a hugely positive impact on women’s rights and issues worldwide.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women lawyers?
There are no barriers we cannot overcome, no compromises we can be asked to make and no heights we cannot exceed. Equality is our right, so speak out about it.

Jan Galloway, Partner, Family team

(Jan Gallowaysee photo montage above, second row, first photo)

Why is IWD important to you?
IWD represents two key things for me – it’s an opportunity for us to celebrate women’s achievements and a time for each of us to consider what more we can do to accelerate the path to gender equality.

Which women have inspired you?
My sister has been a massive inspiration this past year. In March 2020 she cross qualified to the Bar and was called to Middle Temple after ten years of working as a solicitor specialising in childcare law. She was shortly offered tenancy at Four Brick Court Chambers and is now one of their most sought after barristers. She challenged the status quo, the naysayers and the natural order of things when a first generation, state educated Asian woman broke this glass ceiling and joined the likes of an otherwise Oxbridge educated dominated profession – all this with two young children!

What challenges do women in law face today?
The lack of BAME female representation in leadership and visible role models is a challenge our profession faces when attracting diverse new entrants into law. Without better representation (and the belief that they can do it) we won’t attract the brightest and best talent from diverse backgrounds who often face intersecting barriers into the profession.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women lawyers?
My advice to the next generation of women lawyers is that it’s never too early to start ‘giving back’ – and you don’t need to wait to be a partner or in a senior leadership position to become a mentor.

Amandeep Khasriya, Senior associate, Major trauma team

(Amandeep Khasriyasee photo montage above, first row, second photo)

Why is IWD important to you?
International Women’s Day recognises the struggles and progress women have made over the last century. Importantly, it allows women from all walks of life to visibly unite to continue their passionate and deserved quest for equality.

Which women have inspired you?
My mother is the greatest female inspiration of my life. She has taught me to be the woman I am today – the strong, independent professional who is supportive of others and importantly, stands up for what I believe in. I feel so passionately about these characteristics that you will often hear me instilling into my two young daughters the need to be “strong, independent women”.

What challenges do women in law face today?
I would say the challenge for women in law is the innate expectation to do a man’s job along with the normal commitments of a mother. However, Moore Barlow is the new era of law firm who put people first, understanding and supporting the complexities and strains of the working mother.

Moore Barlow provides the flexibility to allow the modern day woman to develop into the high achieving lawyer she deserves to be whilst maintaining her role as a mother.

Alex Milton, Partner, Private Wealth team

(Alex Miltonsee photo montage above, first row, third photo)

Why is IWD important to you?
I would not say it is important to me per se but it is an opportunity to reflect and talk about how far we have come as women, what is still left to do and our own experiences. I have often said that I have been fortunate not to have experienced (certainly overtly) discrimination in the workplace and this is true. However it’s also true to say that during my career I have tended not to focus on my gender or recognise the positives which is a shame.

Which women have inspired you?
I’m incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by inspirational women. Just look at this line up! All I have to do is look around the office and at the faces on my work zoom calls to see amazing women.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women lawyers?
I think it is important to recognise that it can be difficult for women to own the female part of their identity. I certainly have tended not to promote the more female parts of my character and have focused instead on those attributes that I thought were important universally; working long hours, single minded commitment to career and an ability to drink 5 pints at a networking event and still hold a reasonably coherent conversation with a bunch of agents.

The challenge is to recognise the importance of and apply the more female qualities we women have without fear of being judged. To be authentic as women.

Jo Farr, Partner, Commercial property team

(Jo Farrsee photo montage above, first row, first photo)

Why is IWD important to you?
IWD is important to me because within the legal world, it reflects the stand for equality in what has historically been a male dominated profession. As with many other professions, thank goodness for those women who have pushed the boundaries and made a stand.

What women have inspired you?
It has got to be Lady Hale! Look at what she has achieved with her career in law and like me, she went to a state school.

What challenges do women in law face today?Luckily, equality has come on leaps and bounds in the legal profession over the years. However, some women may still be overlooked for promotion, particularly if they have a family or are seeking to start a family in the near future.

Beverley Cullis, Senior associate, Family team

(Beverley Cullissee photo montage above, second row, second photo)