Forging a Gender Equal World

  • February 25, 2021

As Black History Month is coming to a close, we encourage our members to continue learning about Black history in Canada and recommit to fighting systemic racism and building a more equitable legal profession.

March brings International Women’s Day with virtual events happening around the CBA, including:

And in case you missed it, catch last year’s national webinar: Woman, Lawyer, Volunteer Board Member: Guide to Serving on a Non-Profit Board (Recording).

How will we help forge a gender equal world?

Celebrating women’s achievements

The Cecilia I. Johnstone Award was established in 2007 to recognize women who have achieved professional excellence in their field and influenced other women to pursue legal careers, supported other women in career advancement, or opened doors for women lawyers in a variety of job settings that historically were closed to them. Nominations are now open, so submit a name before May 15, 2021!

Celebrate the diversity of women on the Bench by reading the profiles showcased on our Madam Justice webpage. More profiles coming soon!

Writing Her In

The WLF’s annual “Writing Her In” student essay contest is now open and accepting papers on subjects related to Canadian women’s legal history. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2021.

Need some inspiration? Last year’s winning essay was Making Social Context Education Mandatory: Why Cultural Competence Should Matter in the Courtroom by Samantha Peters, who wrote about the development of Bill C-5 and the need for judicial education on sexual violence and social context.

Sharing Stories

There are other ways to put pen to paper for the WLF, like writing a member article. Our most recent article, by Angela Ogang (Member-at-Large, CBA WLF Executive), is called “Promoting diversity on the federal bench.”

We welcome articles on a wide variety of topics related to the law and the legal profession. In 2021, we are particularly interested in articles on how COVID-19 has affected WLF members – personally, professionally, or both.

Tackling Unconscious Bias

The WLF has put together some resources to educate ourselves about unconscious bias. Stay tuned for a forthcoming webinar on this topic.

Working on Pay Equity in the Legal Profession

We are thrilled to announce that the WLF’s virtual Roundtable on Pay Equity in the Legal Profession is happening on April 21, 2021 (mark your calendar). It will feature a moderated, bilingual webinar (open to all CBA members) with subject-matter experts from Canada and beyond.

An invite-only roundtable will follow with facilitated small-group discussions and individual surveys to gather data about lawyers’ experiences with pay inequity and solutions for achieving pay equity. Please get in touch to find out how you can be involved.

Exploring Identities

The Executive is embarking on a multi-year process to explore our current mandate, strive to become more inclusive, and plan future advocacy initiatives. Step one is educating ourselves about gender identities and gender expressions. As part of this process, the new WLF Identities Committee has created a list of resources, ranging from books and documentaries to Instagram accounts and podcasts. Check out our work-in-progress list.

Get Involved

Building our community across Canada and supporting all our members takes effort and we cannot succeed without you! Join our Section and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (NEW!) to stay up to date.

Jennifer Taylor
WLF Communications Officer