Exchange Chambers celebrates International Women’s Day

March 9, 2018

To inspire conversation and raise awareness, Exchange Chambers celebrated International Women’s Day by asking barristers and staff for their views on accelerating gender parity in the legal profession.

Here’s what they said:

“As a single mother I have really enjoyed my career at the Bar. It hasn’t always been easy but with the significant advantage of having had very supportive Chambers, we managed! The influx of large numbers of women into the profession has also helped. The proposals for unsocial court hours is a backwards step but, as always, if it comes off us women will find a way.”
Tania Griffiths QC, Criminal barrister

“To me International Women’s Day is about celebrating the achievements of women everywhere, and highlighting the issues that many still face – it should be a day of pride, empowerment and most importantly activism. As a pupil, it’s an inspiration to watch women breaking down barriers at the Bar and a privilege to be a part of it.”
Alexandra Sutton, Pupil

“A day to feel proud at how far we have come but to acknowledge how far there is still to go.”
Sara Sutherland, Personal injury barrister 

“I would encourage any woman considering a career as a barrister to find out more and pursue this career if it is right for her. I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to practise at the Chancery Bar in the North of England. After 23 years as a barrister I still enjoy my job, which offers challenge, variety, reward, flexibility, community and the opportunity to work with a wide range of people whom I would not otherwise have met.”
Lisa Linklater, Chancery barrister

“I‘m on my way to Court this morning to be prosecuted by a talented female barrister in front of a very well respected Judge, who also happens to be a woman, having left my poor wife struggling to get home from hospital after a night of using her considerable medical skill to ensure that the women in her care safely deliver their babies, while my retired Head Teacher mum takes my children to school, despite the terrible weather because she knows better than many the importance of a good education and showing commitment to what you believe in. I am blessed to work with, be married to, be friends with, and have been raised by strong, intelligent, independent women. I’m proud to be raising a daughter in their image and a son who I know will respect women as equals and be a proud feminist like his Dad.”
Daniel Prowse, Criminal barrister

“A day to remember and celebrate all those women who have inspired and encouraged us in our chosen path and a day to remember that each of us has a responsibility to encourage and inspire the next generation.”
Kim Whittlestone, Criminal barrister

“To all of the women who support me always…to my amazing family, and to the amazing women I have the pleasure of working with each and every day… Happy International Women’s Day. Empowered women empower women.”
Neil Wright, Civil clerk

“For me, International Women’s Day is a day to be thankful for all the inspirational women who have supported me to build a career that I love. It’s also a day to think about how far we still have to go, and to remind myself of the part we all need to play in securing equality for everyone. I hope I can play a part in making things easier for my son’s generation.”
Catherine Knowles, Employment barrister

“In the male dominated world of the Criminal Justice System, for me it is about every female barrister that shows the determinarion and strength to succeed in what, at times, can be an extremely challenging environment. It is also about those women who work hard in the background to help others (both men and women) achieve their goals. Hooray for those female unsung heroes!”
Kate Masher, Criminal clerk

Exchange Chambers has long championed equality and diversity at the Bar.

Commenting on International Women’s Day, Director of Chambers, Tom Handley said:

“Chambers has a long-term commitment to supporting women at the bar. We consider it vital that everyone can pursue their career on equal terms with the same opportunities to become QCs and take up judicial roles.”

International Women’s Day been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognised each year on 8 March. It is not affiliated with any one group, but brings together governments, women’s organisations, corporations and charities. The day is marked around the world with arts performances, talks, rallies, networking events, conferences and marches.