TLT Women’s Network - Celebrating International Women’s Day: Gender Equality
In March TLT’s Women’s Network and the Bristol branch of WIBF hosted a joint event at TLT’s offices to mark International Women’s Day, 100 years of women and to celebrate the achievements in gender equality.
Guest panellists Andrea Delay, Managing Director for Barclays International and Robert Bourns, Consultant for TLT shared insights into their past and current career journeys and how they have had to navigate gender issues in order to shape a more diverse, empowered and progressive working culture.
The key takeaways from the event were:
1. Gender diversity in Law - The majority of the legal profession is female with a 60:40 split. Only 28% of owners in law firms and partners in firms are women. There is also a need to recognise gender diversity in the professions that work in different environments i.e. in-house (only around 30%) and contractors etc. Ways to address this include setting up women’s networks internally (like TLT and Barclays) and make external networks to get other organisations together (like the collaboration between TLT and WIBF).
Organisations need to start at the top and work their way down in order to create role models and to pave the way for ambitious women.
2. Bias – Early in her career Andrea once was the only female and the only Northern employee at a previous job, an example of the bias she has had to fight. It is important that we carry on challenging ourselves in this regard as to why we think certain things are correct.
3. Flexible working (FW) - There is no right to FW but you should have the right to raise the request to FW and to set out explicit terms i.e. “I will be available on x basis and use technology to deliver value.”
To be flexible we need to diversify ourselves and be available; we can be responsive and available. However, there is an expectation to be available at all hours if you are undertaking a FW approach, and this expectation needs to be worked on.
The event was well attended and guests were invited to WiBF’s summer party, the date for which will be set shortly.