International Women's Day 2022 - Boodle Hatfield

Your lawyers since 1722

Celebrating Women at Boodle Hatfield

Boodle Hatfield is delighted to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022.

As a firm, we have long been a pioneer of gender equality and committed to maintaining a working environment in which all people can excel. Our inclusive and supportive culture is directed by our Senior Partner, Sara Maccallum and championed by inspiring female mentors and role models across the business. The firm has a philosophy of advancement by merit and has robust policies in place to achieve this.

As we walk our 300th year in business, we look ahead to guide and develop the next generation of women, all of whom will drive our legacy forward. We celebrate the dynamic firm we are today, with an outstanding client base and talented, award-winning women at all levels of the firm.

We are delighted to take this opportunity to celebrate the success of women at all levels and asked a handful of females around the firm to share their experiences in the industry.

Here is what they had to say:

Sara Maccallum, Senior Partner

"Boodle Hatfield is committed to creating opportunities for all and we empower our female leaders so they can inspire, develop and lead women throughout the business. I take great pride in leading the dynamic firm we are today and want to ensure that our successors are proud of the legacy we are creating which builds on the past three centuries. I was appointed as Senior Partner, at a time when fewer than 20% of females in the UK’s Top 20 Law Firms were promoted to partnership, which thankfully has significantly shifted in recent years. I am particularly passionate about open access to the legal profession and equal opportunities and want to ensure our efforts sow the seeds for the future success of women in our business and that we guide the next generation of leaders, clients and communities to achieve their full potential."

Clare Stirzaker, Private Wealth Partner

"The journey to becoming a lawyer was not easy at times and I have had to work and fight hard to get where I am today. Luckily I have always had the support of some fantastic mentors, who have believed in me and provided me with the encouragement and guidance I needed during difficult times. I very much want to provide such support to others, helping them play to their strengths, learn from the tough moments and enjoy the process of building their careers".

Lucy Rao, BD Director

"Throughout my career I have strived to challenge the gender stereotypes and #breakthebias. As a full-time working (single) parent in law I can see how far society, and the legal sector, has come. There are so many fantastic women who have worked, and continue to work, tirelessly to change the 'norm'. But there is a lot further to go. Bias traverses all areas of society and the working day. It's something we all have to be conscious of and call them out when we see them. They also go both ways! By having more women in senior positions, bringing a diversity of views and ideas to the boardroom will help challenge those biases in the work place. Seeing more positive role models for future generations of women will continue to enable greater gender equality and #breakthebias."

Hilary Wilkinson, Corporate Associate

"Although Boodle Hatfield has been around for 300 years, female solicitors have only existed for a third of that time - in 1922, Carrie Morrison was the first woman to be admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales. Being born at the other end of the 20th century meant that fortunately by the time I decided I wanted to be a solicitor, a lot of other women had paved the way for me. International Women's Day is a great time to reflect on how far we’ve come in the past century, but also to acknowledge that the path has not been cleared for everyone and barriers to entry into the legal profession continue to exist today."

Shaima Jillood, Real Estate Partner

"Having endured gender bias in the corporate world earlier on in my career, I am incredibly proud to be a Partner at a firm who has long been a pioneer for gender equality in the legal world and believe that our key to success is that we were early to recognise the value that women offer. More women than ever before are leading and succeeding in business and paving the way for 'our daughters' and the next generation of female business leaders to develop the confidence and skillsets to succeed in the highly competitive market."

Alexandra Hirst, Family Associate

"Working in my particular field has led me to being involved in complex cases conducted in the High Court and Court of Appeal which is a real privilege. While the work can be challenging, it is highly rewarding. I have worked alongside some of the country's leading practitioners in this area and on behalf of a wide variety of clients. It is important that all women should have the opportunity to thrive in their chosen career and that they have the ability to do so alongside the commitments they have to their family and /or other aspects of their lives. The younger generation must be encouraged to seek out these opportunities and be provided with a platform from which they can fulfil their potential."

Emma Barnard, Risk & Compliance Manager

"It is interesting reflecting on this as I write because I have never felt a 'need' to consider my place as a woman in my role at this firm, certainly not from a negative viewpoint. It is a cause for celebration for me on International Women's Day to appreciate the environment I work in and feel strongly supported as a female leader and member of the Firm. I have been at BH for more than five years and the supportive and inclusive culture is through and through. I have always felt comfortable being able to say 'I don't know but I will look into that for you' when something new arises, and I've been given the room and the tools to learn and grow in my role. Leading and growing a team in this often ferociously-changing regulated sector can be challenging and you need support from all around; senior management, your line manager and your team. That has never wavered at BH and it is undoubtedly more rewarding when you are trusted from the top down and respected 360. There are role models all around the firm and I am grateful to work with inspirational, encouraging, and respectful women and men at all levels across the business. I have long felt fortunate to be working in an environment where I feel truly valued - and am told so - and it is so important to me to foster that same energy within my team. By far the most rewarding part of my role is to guide and mentor ambitious people in meeting their goals and seeing them grow to become confident and trusted advisers in the Risk and Compliance field, women and men alike."

Katie Kirkhope, HR Director

"I am incredibly proud to work for a firm who, for many years, has ensured individuals progress because of their skills and ability, rather than gender. I joined the firm some years ago, following the birth of my first child. During my time here I have benefitted from a number of empowering role models, all of whom have combined both a senior role and motherhood or other caring responsibilities. Their support and guidance has proved invaluable and I am pleased to be in a position now where I am able to return the favour to others. Working for a firm that not only has successful female leaders at its helm, but is also ensuring that they pass on the partnership in an even better position than they found it with further opportunity for all is inspiring and one I am delighted to be part of."

Kellie Jones, Litigation Partner

"Balancing a successful career and family is about accepting that you cannot do it all; you cannot have everything. You have to find the balance that is right for you and protect it with boundaries. Being super organised and having a sense of humour help! I am very lucky that I have a supportive family who enable me to pursue my career with passion. It is important to me that both my children have a successful female role model. I also have a very supportive team at work, which really helps. I am particularly passionate about mentoring the next generation to achieve their goals and to know that they can achieve a work / life balance and that having a family is no longer the end of a career for women. It is so important that we retain senior female talent within the law. There are still challenges but they can be overcome with planning, belief and a decent support network, both at home and at work."