March is Women’s History Month. Over the last few weeks at CEL Solicitors, we’ve looked at the ways women are served by the legal industry and the often-dated expectations of the sector.
The legal sector has traditionally been a boy’s club. While 61% of solicitors in the UK identify as female, senior positions are dominated by their male colleagues who make up 65% – a statistic that is hopefully beginning to balance out as cultural norms and expectations shift.
One source of this disparity is that many women feel forced to choose between pursuing their career and advancing to senior positions, or to starting a family – something that Jessica Hampson and other senior CEL Solicitors staff have taken pains to help rectify (you can find more about this in our previous Women’s History Month article – International Women’s Day 2022 – Life at CEL).
Furthermore, we feel that empowering women is about more than just making sure that a career doesn’t suffer due to the time and stress (both mentally and physically) of pregnancy and childbirth, but that our staff are provided with the chance to hear different perspectives and options with regards to subjects that are often taboo, especially in the workplace.
Last week, Jemma and Anne-Marie – two doulas who previously supported CEL owner and director Jessica Hampson – gave a talk to our staff members about the history of midwifery, doulas, and the historical progression from home to hospital births, and the renaissance of modern-day home births.
Charting a whistle-stop tour through the history of childbirth – from many ancient civilisations’ preoccupation with female-centric deities to the days of village midwives and folk medicine, through the witch trials of the 16th, 17th and 18th century, and the advent of early obstetrics and the development of tools like forceps. The talk centred around how both mother and child can be served more effectively during pregnancy while presenting the greatest range of choice throughout the process.
“If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any” – Diane Korte
As doulas, Jemma and Anne-Marie work diligently to offer support and guidance to families both through pregnancy and the postnatal process.