• Ranked in Chambers & Legal 500 for Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
  • Featured in the Times Top Law Firms 2019, 2020 & 2021 List for Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
  • Over £98 MILLION in damages secured for our clients during lockdown!

International Women's Day 2021

#InternationalWomensDay (1).png

We are proud to support International Women's Day and this years theme, Choose to Challenge. Here we have collated quotes from a number of our solicitors, senior solicitors and partners regarding their thoughts on how gender equality in the legal profession has changed, and what still needs to be done to address the imbalance.

.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Naomi O'Rourke.png

Since starting my legal career only 5 years ago I have on numerous occasions been told that I shouldn’t worry because the gender imbalance in senior positions will “fade out” in 10, 20 years. To me this has never been a good enough answer.

A lack of diversity and equality needs to be questioned and challenged now and when looking for a firm to qualify at last year this was high on my list of priorities.

You only have to look at the staff page on the PRD website to see that genuine and authentic diversity is fostered at all levels. I am proud to be a part of a firm that makes a difference to the statistics which continue to show an alarming lack of females in senior positions within the legal profession.

 - Naomi O'Rourke, Solicitor - Personal Injury

.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Alison Hartley.png

There is still so much work to be done. 

Whilst there may be more women entering the profession than previously, how many of those women actually reach senior roles (PRD excepted)? I doubt the figures make pretty reading.

The law remains a difficult place for women to be and the situation  isn’t helped by senior judges ‘becoming increasingly impatient’ with Covid related excuses for delay (Law Gazette 1 March). 

Perhaps those judges haven’t heard of ‘home schooling’ the burden of which I suspect has largely landed on working mums?

Those women have my deepest respect- and thank you to all those at PRD who have continued to work in the most difficult of circumstances.  

- Alison Hartley, Partner - Personal Injury

.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Helen Budge.png

For me, IWD is a reminder to reflect on how far we’ve come in terms of achieving sexual equality, but also how far we still have to go as a profession and societally.

I’ve always felt very fortunate to work in a branch of the law where women are heavily represented and for firms, not least PRD, where sex has not been a barrier to women rising to leadership positions.

I think it’s really exciting that we’ve achieved equality of entry into the profession, but it will be interesting to see whether, in say 20 years’ time, leadership positions will reflect this or whether women will continue to fall back in terms of promotion or quit the law altogether as they take on a disproportionate share of family responsibilities.

I suspect the way to address this, at least in part, is to focus on the expectations on men when they have children or other caring responsibilities. If we normalise dads sharing parental leave, reducing their work week to care for young children and taking leave when their kids are sick, or men working part time to care for elderly parents, that will put women on a more equal footing in the workplace. I have seen that beginning to happen more with younger colleagues and I really hope that it continues.

- Helen Budge, Senior Solicitor - Clinical Negligence

.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Helen Shaw.png

The legal profession has changed a great deal since I joined in 1984, when it was very male dominated.

The changes made are clearly for the better for Solicitors, Barristers & within the Judiciary. Although there are still some “glass ceilings” within some sectors of the legal profession, many other sectors are much more enlightened & so progress continues to be made.

- Helen Shaw, Partner - Personal Injury

.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................