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International Women’s Day Series: Part 1

In the legal sector, female leaders are still underrepresented despite growing numbers of women entering the profession. As one of the fastest growing law firms in the country, Bond Turner is proud of its inclusive and diverse workforce, with three female leaders at the helm, and is championing change for a better future.

We caught up with some of the inspiring women that make up the Bond Turner legal team.

 

Jessica Watkinson: Housing Disrepair Team Leader

 

How do you think Bond Turner is supporting women in law?

Bond Turner has always had a strong and comparatively young female leadership who have been great role models to aspiring women in the firm.  It is rare to have the number of women we do at senior management level compared to the usual disproportionate number of men in senior roles in the sector.

The firm has always supported my ambitions to develop. I have been given opportunities and was fully supported in my request for flexible work on my return from maternity leave. Many women in the firm have progressed to senior positions, with opportunities for both men and women supported here.

What advice would you give to young women looking to pursue a career in law?

Believe in yourself. Get experience in as many different areas of law as you can to find something you enjoy doing.  Take every opportunity that comes your way, especially those that are outside of your comfort zone. Network with other successful women early in your career and utilise those connections.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s important to celebrate the achievements of all women and ensure that the advances previously made in women’s rights are not forgotten by the younger generations.

It is important to challenge and break down all bias that still exists to ensure that all young women, from all walks of life, are free from discrimination and inequality. I want my daughter, nieces, and all young girls to grow up knowing they can achieve anything they set their mind to without discrimination.

Who are the women that inspire you?

I have always been surrounded by strong, successful women throughout my life and was inspired to follow this career path by relatives and family friends in law.

Personally, my mum is and always will be my biggest inspiration. She was a full-time working mum who made great achievements in her career. She has fought cancer twice and after being told she had months to live 20 years ago, she still won’t let it beat her.  She has always instilled in me the belief that I could do anything I set my mind to.

I am inspired by a new generation of women who are active on social media such as Alice Stephenson who in her own words is working on “breaking down barriers and challenging the status quo”.

 

Sara Stanger: Solicitor and Head of Clinical Negligence (Liverpool)

 

Being a woman in law, have you faced any particular challenges?

In my previous job, there was a feeling of vulnerability going on maternity leave – I was worried that I wouldn’t have a job when I came back and that I would struggle with juggling working full time with a family. However, managing those commitments has been great – it just needs organisation.

How do you think Bond Turner is supporting women in law?

Bond Turner is unusual in that its management board is predominantly female. I think this is very encouraging to see women in such senior roles who also have families and do both jobs so well.

What advice would you give to young women looking to pursue a career in law?

Get lots of experience, network and get to know people. Also choose an area that you really enjoy, then it doesn’t feel like work.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I think it is vital that we recognise how far the world has changed in relation to equality for women.  It is only just over 100 years ago that women fought for the right to vote. There is still a lot to be done to move towards proper equality and #IWD helps us to do that.

Who are the women that inspire you?

Lady Hale is an inspirational woman in law who was a trailblazer for equality and changed the law significantly in areas of domestic violence and mental health.

My mum has always been an inspirational woman to me. She started nursing at 18 and worked her way up to being part of the management team for a local hospital trust. She is the epitome of what hard work and resilience can achieve.

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