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School of Law

Equality in Leadership at Queen Mary University of London

One of the newest student-led initiatives in the School of Law, Equality in Leadership seeks to educate the student body on the unique challenges women face in the pursuit of a legal career.

Most law firms have set up some form of gender initiative to increase diversity; Equality in Leadership wanted to bring that to university level to help students learn about the challenges women might face throughout their legal careers.

How do you go about that?

Panel evenings, we held a discussion with members of the Women Lawyer’s Division, and one with female barristers. We host CV and interview workshops as well as educational talks. For example a diversity roadblocks in law talk with Sasha Scott, vacation scheme and training contract workshop with Gwyn Day and career talk with Vanessa Vallely on women working in the City.

What is the best thing your society has organised this year?

Our opening event in conjunction with the Women Lawyer’s Division (WLD) was one of our best events.  WLD invited us to the Law Society for a drinks and food reception, followed by a panel discussion with a variety of female lawyers and business women, and a talk from Mary-Ann Wright, Chair of the WLD.

What opportunities do you offer your members?

As part of the ‘We are the City’ network we have exclusive access to events held in the City for women who wish to work in law. This year society members had the chance to attend a ‘legal speed dating’ event that would otherwise have only been accessible to fully qualified lawyers. Our current members have been able to acquire legal mentors in areas of law such as family law and tax law through these schemes.

Gwyn Day will be back in the next academic year to give our members a CV and interview workshop in relation to attaining vacation schemes and training contracts. He will be making two visits to QM in order to give our members the most effective sessions possible.