On Friday March 8 it was International Women’s Day and the team spent lunch reflecting on what it means to be a female.

“Our work should equip the next generation of women to outdo us in every field, this is the legacy we’ll leave behind.”
– Rupi Kaur

Flos Greig, Marie Beauzeville Blyes, Mary Kitson and Dorothy Sommerville. Who are these people and what’s their significance to International Women’s Day?

These four women paved the way for the rest of women in law. They are the pioneers, the founding mothers whose legacy is embodied in all the women you see participating in the legal sphere today.

  • Flos Greig was the first woman to be admitted as a barrister in Victoria in 1905.
  • Marie Beauzeville Blyes became the first female solicitor in NSW in 1924.
  • Mary Kitson and Dorothy Sommevile established the first female legal partnership in Adelaide in 1925.

Today the legal profession is made up of 50.1 per cent female solicitors and 49.9 per cent male lawyers and the rate at which women enter the legal profession continues to be significantly higher than that of men.

But these figures don’t necessarily mean that we have broken through the glass ceiling. There is still a long journey for women who are still under-represented in senior positions within firms.

Luckily it is a glass ceiling rather than a brick wall and the tools we need to get through such a poorly constructed façade are in the hands of our fellow sisters. When we speak to each other, when we help each other, when we support each other through trials, tribulations, mistakes and celebrate each other’s success and growth we inevitably fuel the fire to elevate our reach higher than our grasp.

This is just one of the things that is practiced at Gilton Valeo. The firm has taken thoughtful steps to create an environment that propels women forward including introducing flexi – leave, work at home arrangements and enabling them to be the source for business development and internal change.

We are proud to say that the voice is women and for us women means strength, leadership and opportunity.

And on that note to our fellow women we would like to say – we continue to place our faith in you.