A female teacher laughed at me when I told her I wanted to be a lawyer. She told me to consider other options, something less academic. As a young insecure girl, this could have been the end of my dream. Fortunately for me, it was just the beginning. I was very privileged. Although I came from a poor background and had zero connections, my family were hard workers. The graft of my parents taught me that despite the odds, hard work and determination would lead to success.
I became determined to achieve my ambition and to prove that I was worthy. I am now very proud to say that I am a dual qualified Scottish Solicitor and New York Attorney working in London at the age of twenty nine. I have future ambitions to join the Scottish Bar and I am aiming for the Bench. I am not afraid to aim high and I am not afraid of the obstacles in my path.
The number one issue that remains for women in law is power: “Dear Sirs” and the like. While there may be more women in law than men; in disproportionate numbers the people at the top are men. Whether it is conscious or unconscious bias, time off for maternity leave or other “female led” family matters, women have to fight for each advance up the ladder. In my current position, I am negatively considered “feisty” because of my assertiveness.
In spite of our adversities, together we climb. On a daily basis, we work to overcome bias and fight for equality and our rightful seat at the Table. I will never forget to remember and support the young ambitious girls with the odds stacked against them; and I intend to lead by example.