My experience of International Women’s Day 2023

On International Women’s Day 2023, Shoosmiths’ Balance Network held firmwide discussions across offices, to discuss what “Embrace Equity” means to us, and how we can continue to promote gender parity.

Ria Champaneri, Trainee Solicitor, shares her perspective.

The in-office events provided a platform for colleagues to get to know each other better whilst highlighting the importance of gender equality in the workplace. It was a chance for employees to share their experiences, discuss their aspirations and engage with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. 

One of the highlights of the day was the celebration of great women in the law firm. We took time to recognise and appreciate the accomplishments of our women and how their contributions have made Shoosmiths a better place to work. We also discussed how we could create more opportunities for women and help them overcome barriers in their professional and personal lives.

In Birmingham, our CEO, David Jackson, shared some insightful statistics with the team. For example, our partnership is made up of 37% women and we are actively working towards greater balance. David’s presence on the day demonstrated the firm's commitment to creating a more inclusive workplace, where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.

As part of the celebrations, our Birmingham office decided to support a woman-owned business by choosing ChangeKitchen (The Jericho Foundation) as our caterers. Jericho is a social enterprise that supports individuals who have faced significant barriers to employment and is the latest beneficiary of The Shoosmiths Foundation. Our Manchester office also held a collection for their office charity partner, Mustard Tree, which is dedicated to tackling poverty and homelessness and their charity partner for the year.

These events were a reminder that the journey towards achieving gender parity in the workplace is ongoing. The discussions held on International Women's Day showed that everyone has a role to play in promoting equality. Shoosmiths is committed to forging women's equality in the workplace, and the International Women's Day events were just one step towards this goal.

Following our event in Birmingham, I gathered anonymous suggestion forms from attendees, which were provided with the aim of identifying actions to take forward. It is incumbent upon all of us, including leaders in the firm, to actively listen and engage with women to understand barriers they face day-to-day.

In line with the firm’s ambition to drive change, Shoosmiths has launched a series of initiatives to support women in the workplace. For example, the Balance network has established a mentoring programme that pairs employees with more experienced colleagues, providing them with guidance and support as they navigate their careers. We also support and raise awareness relating to flexible working and menopause. 

To keep these conversations going, Keynote Speaker, Harriet Waley-Cohen, hosted a talk for us on ‘Breaking down gender-based stereotypes for greater allyship’ on March 22nd. This session was thought provoking and allowed for attendees to consider their every-day role in embracing equity and tangible actions for allyship. 

While we celebrate the progress we have made, we also recognise that there is still much work to be done. Shoosmiths remains committed to forging a workplace that is inclusive, equitable, and supportive of all employees, regardless of gender. By embracing equity, we believe we can create a workplace where everyone can thrive and achieve their full potential.

Learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at Shoosmiths.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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