Celebrating International Women’s Day at SE-Solicitors

March 8th 2024

Within the last 102 years, since the first woman Carrie Morrison qualified as a Solicitor in England & Wales, the legal profession has progressed and developed to help promote the rights of women in law and gender equality in the profession. 

We at SE-Solicitors do all that we can to support women at the firm, providing flexible working where possible to assist working mothers with the challenges of a multi-faceted life, in addition to providing opportunities for progression and training.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) revealed in recent research that 53% of lawyers are currently female. Despite this, a survey of the top 50 UK law firms revealed a median pay gap of 32.4% excluding partner pay, which would increase the divide further.

At SE-Solicitors we are delighted that not only are 76.8% of our expert lawyers female, but 50% of our solicitors at Director level are too.

Director & Shareholder, Lucy Gordon comments: “I am very proud of the many impressive women I work with at this firm. They show resourcefulness and adaptability in cheerfully juggling the many facets of life at home, often training in their spare time for qualifications while dealing with young children and yet carrying on with a demanding career.

Things have come a long way since 1992 when I qualified as a solicitor in the City – if a woman wanted to return from maternity leave they rarely managed to agree part time work and if they did their career was usually over.

I was lucky to join SE – I was offered a part time job, starting on 2.5 days and working up, over two decades, to a full-time role. At every step I have been encouraged. 

I would encourage any woman to look at the Law as a serious life enhancing career that provides the flexibility to combine it with home life.”

Support systems such as allowing for flexible working and providing necessary support for women returning to the profession after family/career breaks are key to promoting this equality. Our flexible working policy ensures that all working mothers are able to achieve what is best for them, deciding on various options including flexitime, part-time, compressed hours, remote working and more.

Kristina Dunne, Senior Associate: “Working at SE-Solicitors gives me the opportunity to focus on my career, as well as being a hands-on Mum to my young children. I feel I can progress with my career aspirations by balancing my work life and my home life without doing one to the detriment of the other. With flexible working and hours to suit, I can work remotely on certain days, allowing me to be client facing on the days where I’m in the office. It all adds up to a very positive experience and I’m grateful to SE-Solicitors for acknowledging that women are able to have a fulfilling career and bring up a family at the same time.”

In all scenarios we believe in the importance of starting an open discussion, working together wherever possible to support not only working mothers, but all of the women in our workplace.

Catherine O’Riordan: “I have been with SE-Solicitors for 20 years, since the formation of the firm. I joined the firm as a Junior Solicitor and was encouraged to progress to Associate and then Senior Associate. It is heartening to see that the gender balance at director level is now equal.” 

Today we ask you to join us in celebrating International Women’s Day and the positive progression and development of women within the legal profession.