As we observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, our focus is on establishing a culture of allyship and creating an environment where our female colleagues feel empowered to come forward with their experiences.
Why Recognizing This Day Matters
Designated by the United Nations, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women aims to raise awareness of the widespread issue of violence against women, such as rape, domestic abuse, human trafficking, and other forms of violence.
The global campaign encourages people around the world to reflect on and devise strategies to eliminate gender-based violence by 2030. As an organisation, we acknowledge that we can, and should play a part in achieving this commitment by bringing attention to the issue.
Violence against women remains one of the most pressing human rights challenges globally. Shockingly, around one in three women worldwide – 739 million in total – have experienced physical or sexual violence at least once in their lives. However, this figure does not fully capture the extent of the problem. Therefore, today should serve as a crucial reminder that many incidents are hidden and unaccounted for, meaning that the actual scale of violence against women remains unknown.
All women, irrespective of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, or relationship status, can be subjected to violence. Experiencing abuse can profoundly affect a woman’s ability to carry out her job effectively, thereby placing her at a distinct disadvantage. Women can also find it challenging to seek out appropriate support in the workplace, particularly when there is an existing gender imbalance. Unfortunately, the impact of abuse means that some women are unable to build a career for themselves or work at all, ultimately limiting their potential and life prospects.
At CEL Solicitors, we recognise that addressing the prevalence of violence against women goes beyond acknowledgment; it requires a proactive commitment to fostering a culture of allyship within our firm. In striving for this, we aim to empower women to come forward with their experiences so that they can be efficiently supported.
Creating a Culture of Empowerment and Allyship
Education and Charitable Initiatives
At CEL, our dedication to community support is reflected in our ongoing commitment to educating ourselves on various issues and actively supporting local charities. We take pride in hosting diverse guest speakers who share valuable insights on issues affecting women, including representatives from charities like the Period Project Merseyside and Amadudu Women’s Charity, as well as professionals such as business mentor, Andrea Edwards and Doulas, Jemma and Anne-Marie.
These sessions not only deepen our understanding of women’s issues, but also provide practical guidance on how to be effective allies. Continuously educating ourselves equips us to better understand and support our colleagues where necessary.
Our diversity committee meets monthly to devise initiatives aimed at improving equality, diversity, and inclusion across CEL Solicitors. From commemorating awareness days and welcoming insightful guest speakers to writing blogs and attending conferences, the committee actively contributes to creating an inclusive workplace.
Members are not only encouraged but empowered to share their experiences and insights, addressing specific concerns, including those related to gender-based violence. A significant discussion during our November meeting catalysed the creation of this blog, exemplifying the real impact of our efforts to make CEL a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Mental Health First Aiders
CEL’s Mental Health First Aiders are instrumental in supporting the mental wellbeing of our staff. Through one-to-one sessions, they provide essential guidance, creating a safe space for staff to open up. Firm-wide events, such as our annual Mental Health Snaps for World Mental Health Day, facilitate small group discussions where staff openly discuss their challenges.
Through these efforts, we strive to create an environment where every member of staff feels supported in their journey toward mental well-being.
The commitment towards gender equity is embraced from our team leaders to our executive board. Our managerial staff actively engage in initiatives, whether it’s attending external training events or raising awareness on a YouTube video or podcast. CEL’s leaders are dedicated to setting an example for our team, demonstrating that gender equity is a continuous effort.