What are the most effective ways to counteract the negative stereotypes of feminism, in your area of practice?

I work in Family Law.  This is an area of law whereby over my career I have been asked far too many times to recall about the impact of gender on the outcome of a case – whether it relates to me, a Judge the other representative, etc.  It still surprises me that such urban myths continue to exist.

As a Family Practitioner for over 20 years, I am fortunate to have never experienced any gender bias regarding the outcome of a case.  I suspect this is testament to the highly professional attitudes of those in the profession and I feel personally fortunate to be able to enjoy working across a cross-section of professionals with all variety of personal backgrounds, who continue to ensure the clients’ needs and come first and ensure complete objectivity in their practices.

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Dame Kelly Holmes:  I love because she is a true ambassador to everyone, not to give up on their dreams. Bouncing back from injury at the age of 34, after a career where Olympic gold had eluded her Kelly Holmes managed to win a double gold medal in her final Olympic appearance in Athens in 2004. Remarkable! “I was 12 when I started and 34 before I achieved my dream, that should give people hope.”

Greta Thunberg: No matter your age or your size, you can make a difference.” She created the global movement, School Strike for Climate Change, and went on to be named Time‘s 2019 Person of the Year.  As a schoolchild, Greta managed something environmentalists had been trying to achieve for years – she got the whole world’s attention.

Queen Elizabeth II: I could not ignore this great icon this year.  She has served on the throne throughout my whole life how could I not be influenced by her and as time goes by, the more we discover about Her Majesty, the more we learn about her battles, and her heroism as a true great leader of the world.  A steady and strong feminist influence of our time.  Although, admittedly, I would be a bit terrified to have dinner with her!!

What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Be a bit Kelly and never give up; be a bit Greta and know that you can make a difference; and be a bit Queen Elizabeth II – don’t be afraid to be a strong voice, regardless of gender and stereotype.