International Women’s Day 2020
Sunday 8 March marks this years’ International Women’s Day.
This is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. This year the theme is #EachForEqual, an equal world is an enabled world.
Wolferstans Solicitors currently have 146 female employees, which is an incredible 79% of our workforce. However, looking back into the firm’s past this has not always been the case. If we were to look into the history of the firm, we’d see this percentage decrease massively. Not only this but many of the female employees would not have been in the roles they are in today. Most fee earner or managerial roles, if not all, were filled by men.
At present, we have a female managing partner, an all-female management team, and all but one head of department is female. The firm strives to ensure it is an equal opportunity employer, promoting equality of opportunity for all.
To celebrate International Women’s Day we have asked female members of the team about their goals, challenges they have overcome and the highlights of their careers:
Name Chloe Uzzell
Briefly state your position and what your job entails I am a trainee solicitor. I have undertaken seats in Residential conveyancing, Family Care, Family Matrimonial and now Medical negligence. My role is to learn and adapt in various departments to pick up the skills required to be a well-rounded solicitor.
What have been the highlights of your career? Securing a training contract was by far my biggest highlight. Studying to become a solicitor can feel like a big risk as there is no guarantee that anyone will believe in you enough to qualify. I’m glad that someone saw something is me and now I cannot wait to qualify.
And the biggest challenge you have overcome? Accepting that things don’t always go perfectly. Having a career is very different from studying. When you study you are completely in control of your achievements however in work curve balls get thrown at you all the time but … a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
Your future goals? I am lucky as I am at the most exciting part of my career where anything seems possible. My goal is to be the best family solicitor I can be and to make myself and those around me proud.
If you could go back 10 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Trust in your own journey, just because you don’t follow the conventional path doesn’t make your journey any less remarkable.
What does success look like to you? Success to me is making a life for yourself that makes you feel happy and content and surrounding yourself with people that help with achieving that.
Name Liz Makin
Briefly state your position and what your job entails Associate solicitor at Wolferstans. Representing people with asbestos related disease and their bereaved families to bring claims for compensation.
What have been the highlights of your career? Obtaining funding for a terminally ill patient for treatment not available through the NHS, gaining some precious extra months of life and generally being able to compassionately assist those in need. My clients and their families have a lot of worries and it is wonderful if I can put them in a position that money is not one of them.
And the biggest challenge you have overcome? Getting the work/ life balance right – it’s crucial to everything.
Your future goals? I love my job and would really appreciate continuing in asbestos litigation for as long as possible. However, fortunately, the numbers of those suffering are expected to fall so I look forward to a new challenge within the law if that time comes along.
If you could go back 10 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? There are firms which will offer flexibility and still let you fly with your career, go out and find them!
What does success look like to you? Happiness in my career; working hard and being appreciated by my clients; having sufficient R&R to stay really well, enjoy life and support my family, perform well at work and find lots of time for friends – they are so important and I’m very blessed with mine.
Name Dawn Churchward
Briefly state your position and what your job entails I am a Legal Software Developer. I maintain and update workflows for the firm, as well as providing (limited!) IT support. I also carry out background administrative and housekeeping tasks to hopefully help keep the system running smoothly.
What have been the highlights of your career? Making the move from secretarial work to software development.
And the biggest challenge you have overcome? I am a technological dinosaur! I’m not a big fan of new technology or change. The irony is not lost on me.
Your future goals? To understand, master and embrace advances in technology.
If you could go back 10 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Moisturise morning AND evening!
What does success look like to you? Someone who does a job they enjoy and are passionate about, but who is also able to balance this with a fulfilling personal and social life.
Name Morwenna Richardson
Briefly state your position and what your job entails I am a Workflow Developer and Trainer, I am responsible for making improvements to internal IT software/ Case Management system and the training of all staff in relation to IT software and programmes and lots in-between!
What have been the highlights of your career? I don’t really have any highlights in terms of specific events because my job/role in general is a highlight for me. I am very content and happy with my role and I enjoy coming to work everyday. I love interacting with the lovely people I work with, I still get challenges and I am introduced to new ideas which still keeps me on my feet. So to me contentment and being happy in my working life is the highlight of my career.
And the biggest challenge you have overcome? Working out what I wanted to do with my life in terms of work and finding direction. I had always wanted to be a lawyer when I was younger and when I realised that being a lawyer wasn’t for me, it was quite hard to think about what I wanted to do whilst still being involved in law somehow. At the time, there were not many roles out there that involved law but were not the traditional, barrister, solicitor, legal executive roles. I was very lucky to be offered my current role.
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