International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate progress and the bravery and tirelessness of the women who have agitated for it. It is also a time for continuing hard conversations. Recent national and international news articles confirm what almost all women in the legal profession have experienced: that law is an environment where achieving gender equity has some specific and significant challenges that still need prompt and urgent action.

In particular, sexual harassment of women lawyers and law students remains painfully common. Women are often doubly victimized, both as targets of harassment and then as those who suffer the more serious career repercussions when harassment occurs. Women are damned if they report and damned if they don’t; they can be marginalized when they speak up, or forced to marginalize themselves by stepping away from a perpetrator, a law firm, the profession as a whole, in order to protect themselves. The power dynamics inherent in the legal system, which negatively impact a number of historically disadvantaged groups, serve to reinforce these problematic tendencies unless we all acknowledge and then actively challenge them.

Whitelaw Twining is committed to taking meaningful steps to achieve gender equity in the legal profession. Through a continued push for representation, ongoing education and training, and honest dialogue we will do our part to make the legal profession a place for women to not just survive but to thrive. On International Women’s Day we reaffirm our commitment to keep doing better, for our firm and for the profession.