For International Women’s Day (IWD), we are showcasing some of our Hugh James colleagues – asking them what IWD means to them. Nursing Care team Paralegal, Olivia Stevens, writes about creating a gender balanced world for future generations.
As a 22-year-old woman, I have grown up in a world where diversity is strongly advocated for. And having attended an all-girls secondary school from the ages of 11 to 16, I was educated in an environment where female empowerment was strong and women were encouraged to do anything that they wanted to do and support each other in the process.
Our schoolhouses were even named after various inspiring women, such as Marie Curie. Subsequently, I have always felt a fierce sense of female empowerment and my gender has never held me back from pursuing what I wanted to do.
I have now graduated from Cardiff University Law School surrounded by strong and successful female peers who have inspired and supported me throughout.
Through history, the legal sphere has been predominantly male, as was the case with most professions. Recent statistics now show that over two-thirds of all law course applicants in 2022 are female. This is a great achievement and seeing my female peers graduate and pursue their goals has been a great honour.
However, it is evident that though we see statistics like this frequently in relation to a variety of sectors and issues, there is still a great deal that needs to be done in order to attain gender parity, as the hurdles that women face are still prevalent. For example, women – especially women of colour – remain significantly underrepresented in corporate leadership and those women in leadership are more likely to experience certain microaggressions in the workplace compared to their male counterparts.
As such, International Women’s Day (8 March 2022) is about celebrating the success and achievements of women whilst also recognising that there is more that needs to be done by everyone, regardless of gender, to create a more gender balanced world for younger/future generations.
As a young woman entering the corporate world, I am glad to see that women are taking a more prominent position in the corporate landscape.
However, continuing the essential work to #BreakTheBias is so important and I would encourage everyone to take a moment to look at the resources available on the IWD website, as they are incredibly informative.
About the Author
Olivia Stevens is a Paralegal in the Hugh James Nursing Care team.
She graduated Cardiff University Law School in July 2021 with a First Class Degree and has been working in our Nursing Care department since May 2021. Olivia is currently completing the Legal Practice Course with a Masters’ part-time at the University of Law in Bristol and hopes to obtain a training contract in order to qualify as a solicitor.