International Association of Women Judges: ThoughtExchange

May 11, 2021

The retention of women in the legal profession has been examined extensively over the years and many reports have recommended change, including the 1993 Canadian Bar Association report, Touchstones for Change.

Over the years, numerous other studies and reports have been written about women’s role in the legal profession, not only in Canada, but also in the United States and United Kingdom. While women have come a long way since Lillian Ruby Clements, the first woman to be admitted to the Alberta bar in 1915, and the first woman to receive a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta, the issue of retention is still in question.

Women continue to graduate law school in equal numbers to men and join the profession, yet why are they leaving? A recent article in The Globe and Mail titled Power Gap, revealed that women continue to face barriers in the legal profession regarding maternity leave, rise to management positions within firms, pay equity and sexual harassment. And in many instances, women do not speak up in fear of reprisal.

We know that change doesn’t happen overnight, but it is important to provide a safe space for women in the legal profession to share their thoughts and ideas about these important topics. And that is why, the International Association of Women Judges, Canadian Chapter, want to hear from you.

The Canadian Bar Association Alberta Branch and the Law Society of Alberta support this important initiative and encourage Alberta lawyers to join the conversation.

Join Us

We invite you to participate in a ThoughtExchange and to engage with others in sharing ideas and ways to improve the retention and engagement of women in the legal profession.

The question we want to discuss is what changes are necessary to address the unique obstacles faced by women in the legal profession?

To participate in the ThoughtExchange, click here and provide your thoughts before end of day on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. You can visit multiple times and in fact, participants are encouraged to visit more than once to read and rate new ideas, and continue contributing to the conversation.

We are committed to sharing the themes that emerge from the ThoughtExchange. We hope to learn about obstacles women are facing in the legal profession that may not yet have come to light, and we hope to use this information to explore ways for meaningful change in the legal profession.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

About ThoughtExchange

ThoughtExchange is an anonymous crowd-sourcing engagement tool that allows participants to share ideas and engage with others.