Until 1919 women weren't even allowed to qualify, but now over 61% of solicitors in the UK are women. Firms like Cunningtons are working to support gender equality in the workplace

It’s been just over 100 years since Carrie Morrison became the first woman to be admitted as a solicitor in the UK.

This groundbreaking event happened after the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919 allowed women to work in professions like Law and the civil service, from which they had previously been excluded.

Since the 1919 act, the role of women in the legal sector has gone from strength to strength. From the foundation of the first female-only law partnership in 1933, all the way to 2021, when 61% of all solicitors in the UK were now women.

Gender equality at last?

Being held to the same standard as men has always been a struggle for women. Generations of sexism and inequality take time to disappear, but Cunningtons are proud to show how far we’ve come as a company.

Cunningtons has a dedicated Wellbeing Committee that focuses solely on the wellbeing of our employees; ensuring that everyone feels safe and respected is a top priority.

The Wellbeing Committee regularly goes over the policies we have in place that affect work-life, and adjusts them as required.

Policies focussed on women

For instance, we found that sanitary products weren’t always available in some bathrooms, and the committee put together a designated box full of menstruation products for each branch.

The same can be said for the menopause, where we signed up to the Workplace Menopause Pledge, and have implemented a brand-new policy to shed some light on how it can cause problems for some sufferers. The Pledge looks at how we can provide assistance when symptoms like headaches, poor concentration, depression and anxiety influence work.

We continue to take active steps to engage with any of our staff affected by the menopause to ensure that they feel valued and can contribute fully to their workplace environment.

Keeping our policies updated

Cunningtons strive to learn and improve at every possible opportunity, and this past September we attended the first Wellbeing of Women summit in London to hear from other women, and how their voices are impacting changes that are being made across the women’s health sector.

As a result of this summit we have come away with plenty of ideas to introduce new ways to help our staff, whatever their gender.

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