Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024: Inspire Inclusion

On International Women’s Day, we take a moment to reflect on the progress made towards a more equitable future for women globally.

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It’s a day that serves as a reminder of the ongoing work needed to champion and empower women as we continue to strive for a more gender-balanced future. 

This year’s theme, ‘Inspire Inclusion’, highlights the importance of diversity and empowerment in all aspects of society. So, what does inclusion mean to you?  

To celebrate this occasion, TWM is thrilled to unveil a collection of Q&As featuring individuals who consistently go above and beyond to champion equity and diversity across the firm. 

What does inclusion mean to you? 

“In terms of the workplace, ensuring that everyone feels that their contribution to the firm is valued and that they do not feel there are barriers to prevent them from achieving their full potential.”

“Being accepted and valued for being my authentic self by colleagues and others.”

"For me, workplace inclusion is making sure everyone feels welcome, regardless of their differences, everyone feels empowered to contribute their best, and everyone feels part of the team."

“For me, inclusion means ensuring that every individual feels genuinely valued and respected, regardless of their race, age, sex, gender, disability, religion, or belief. It means making a concerted effort to actively include them by ensuring they feel heard and acknowledged. In my view, it's important to hear and consider everyone’s voices and opinions whether or not we disagree, as that is fundamental to creating a truly inclusive environment.”

“To me, inclusion means the practice of recognising, and valuing the diverse experiences, perspectives and contributions of everyone regardless of their background, identity or circumstances. It also means creating an environment where everyone feels respected and empowered to participate fully and equally. In a business context, I feel that the diversity of thought that inclusion allows for opens the door for more creative problem solving and innovation, which can only be a positive thing.”

“Inclusion means creating environments where everyone feels respected, valued, heard, and empowered to contribute with their own unique perspectives and talents. An inclusive environment fosters a sense of belonging and recognizes and celebrates the different qualities that each individual brings.”

“As a solicitor, I believe in a world where the scales of justice are balanced not just in courtrooms but in every facet of our society. In 1925, our firm proudly welcomed one of the first six women to be admitted to the Roll of Solicitors, a testament to our enduring commitment to equality. For us, inclusion isn't a fleeting trend, but a steadfast value woven into the fabric of our legacy. As we celebrate International Women's Day, let us recognise that progress is not measured by the years passed, but by the inclusive paths we pave. Inclusion isn't an option; it's our duty, and it's the heartbeat of a legal system that truly serves all.”

Can you tell us about an ‘inclusion’ experience during your time at TWM Solicitors?

“The partners with whom I worked when I started work were very supportive of me as a nervous young trainee and I was fortunate in that I never felt “excluded” as a woman. Women solicitors were in a minority within the firm at that time and I am glad that the current TWM is a far more diverse and inclusive environment but there is always further to go.”

“The best example I can think of, (which is personal to me), is that my team have taken the time and made the effort to understand ‘me’ and more importantly accept me the way I am and the ways in which I work and support me in that.”

What role do you think men can play in advancing inclusion in the workplace?

“I think both men and women need to be aware that a workplace with a diverse and valued workforce is more likely to be both a more successful business and a happier working environment.“

“Men can play a significant role in advancing inclusion in the workplace by becoming allies and advocating for gender equality. They can actively challenge stereotypes and biases, promote equal opportunities, and support policies relating to diversity and inclusion. Listening to women’s experiences, respecting their contributions, and engaging in open dialogues about gender equality are crucial steps that men can take to help break down these barriers. Ultimately, men’s active participation in these efforts can drive systematic changes, fostering an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive.”

What advice would you give your younger self about embracing and celebrating diversity?

“Embrace it. Engage with others. It will enrich your life but be aware of those who may need more support to excel and offer this support where you can.”

"Have courage. If you are good at what you do and you believe in yourself, the right thing will come your way."

“If I could advise my younger self on embracing and celebrating diversity, I would emphasise the importance of recognising unconscious bias and its disproportionate impact on marginalised groups like people of colour, women, those of certain religious groups, those with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals (not an exhaustive list). Bias has very real consequences that affects many aspects of life, and in the work context that can include hiring decisions, performance management, delegation, and many other things. I would remind myself to stay alert when I advance into leadership roles later in my career. Principally, I'd stress the importance of paying attention to who occupies seats at the table, and actively create diverse tables where possible.”

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On International Women's Day, we take a moment to reflect on the progress made towards a more equitable future for women globally.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024: Inspire Inclusion

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