International Women’s Day 2024

6 min read
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Melinda Giles

Managing Partner

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International Women’s Day 2024:

This year International Women’s Day 2024 is centred around the theme of inclusivity. When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world.

And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.

Collectively, let's forge a more inclusive world for women.[1]

Our colleagues share their experiences and thoughts on inclusivity within the legal field:

Pippa Bavington, Partner in our Private Client department:

What does inclusion look like in a professional environment? Certainly it should not be cliquishness or a sense of superiority amongst peers (the latter may well creep into some professions, and dare I say especially the legal sector.)

Inclusion means a feeling of belonging for all: male, female, non-binary or however one may identify (or not!). A sense of ‘home’ as far as possible and crucially, the ability to be ones true self amongst colleagues and clients. Without a doubt GW offers a challenging environment in which to work but it also provides one in which one feels encouraged to develop with honesty and openness. For me, that is what I believe inclusion at GW is: the sense of being part of a committed and loyal team and therefore involved in something exciting, offering opportunity to grow, with support and mentoring at all levels and in all directions.

Kirsty Buxton, Associate Solicitor in our Private Client & Court of Protection department:

Being pregnant with my second daughter has had a real impact upon my view when looking at the importance of International Women’s Day. It is a time to reflect upon what we have done well to raise up the women in law, a chance to review what more can be done and continue to embrace and consider inclusion at a time where there can be much divisiveness and conflict in the world. I am fortunate to work in an environment where I have never felt discriminated against or that my pregnancy and impending maternity leave have resulted in less work or reduced management responsibilities. I am grateful for the opportunities I continue to have at Giles Wilson whilst I am also acutely aware that this is not always the case and women in my similar position can be marginalised if it is known that they will no longer be profitable for their company by taking significant time off to be with their children at a time when it is most important. At Giles Wilson, we continue to promote inclusion for all under our ‘Core Values’ which we implement every day and showing respect, support, understanding, positivity and integrity. As we come together to celebrate International Women’s Day, it is important to reflect these values in the inclusiveness we offer to all to create the best working environment we can and allow everyone to thrive in their role and do what they do best.

Demi Trunks, Associate Solicitor in our Private Client department:

The theme of international women’s day this year is Inspire Inclusion. Since I joined Giles Wilson Solicitors 6 years ago, I have felt both inspired and included every day. I have had the privilege to work with amazing solicitors, lawyers, trainees and paralegals every day and have met some amazing role models. International women’s day is the perfect time to acknowledge all of the incredible men and women that I am lucky enough to work with. We have a huge variety here at Giles Wilson of backgrounds, life experience, skill sets… and this is what makes us such a great team and Employee Owned Trust.

I don’t come from the typical family background that you might expect for a ‘Stereotypical Solicitor’ (who, by the way, does not exist) and I have been given opportunities here to grow and develop both my career, and personally, that 16 year old me could never have dreamed of.

I would like to join everyone here at Giles Wilson in celebrating International Women’s Day 2024.

William Brock, Solicitor in our Private Client department:

My experience in the legal field is limited to Giles Wilson Solicitors, which I have viewed as exemplary for inclusivity. I can remember working in factories not too long ago. I remember being separated into men and women: men charged to sit and push buttons on the machine (we rarely had to push any buttons); women counted the laminated pages (I was told women are better at counting).

Never has legal work been allocated to a solicitor based on gender. Never has a request for maternity leave been discouraged. In fact, I have only found discrimination from the client side, requesting a male solicitor as they felt male solicitor is likely to be more ‘experienced’. This client was kindly looked after by a female solicitor in our Court of Protection team. I am confident that Giles Wilson Solicitors will remain vigilant in promoting inclusivity in the legal field.

Victoria Ferguson, Wills and Probate executive in our Private Client department:

Balancing motherhood and a career is a challenge faced by many women but Giles Wilson has always been very supportive of this. When I was struggling with this issue, I was offered flexible working arrangements. I felt really valued and that I was an important part of the team as they worked with me to find a way to make being a working mum work for me.Working part time can also bring with challenges such as not feeling part of the team because you’re just not there as much as full time workers. It is easy to feel left out but at Giles Wilsoneveryone makes a conscious effort to ensure everyone feels included and a valued team member.

Muminah Aktar, Paralegal in our Private Client and Court of Protection department:

I am grateful to work at a firm that prioritises and takes action to improve the equality, diversity and inclusion at the work place. From day one at Giles Wilson, I have never felt disadvantaged by my lack of legal work experience or background. I have been immersed into a supportive environment that not only promotes personal growth but has taken the time to accommodate a quiet area for reflection and prayer.

Chloe Sherman-Botten, Paralegal in our Family and Litigation department:

Inclusivity in the legal field is a crucial aspect of promoting justice, fairness, and equal opportunities. It creates an environment where individuals from diverse backgrounds, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status, feel welcome and have equal access to opportunities. I am proud to work for a company like Giles Wilson that actively promotes inclusivity in all aspects.

Since starting my legal journey with Giles Wilson I have constantly been in an environment where everyone is valued, respected and included. I feel extremely lucky to work with such incredible people, women and men alike, who share the same values and beliefs.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Kristina Kastriotis, Paralegal in our Litigation and Property department:

It is refreshing to work in an environment that supports women in Law and feels so strongly about promoting such an important day. As a woman aspiring to be a solicitor it is great to be part of a community which values us as staff members and ensures our voices are heard, this is particularly important on international women’s day as we should always remember how far we have come and how much more there is to achieve.

Helen James, Hilary Cooper and Julia Usher, Front of House at Giles Wilson:

We were made to feel very welcome when we started working at Giles Wilson and feel that their values reflect good morals and ethics in the workplace. We enjoy working with a great team of like-minded people.


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