Canadian Lawyer

April 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

Issue link: http://digital.canadianlawyermag.com/i/1354729

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 19 of 51

18 www.canadianlawyermag.com SPECIAL REPORT WOMEN IN LAW qualities. Panellists also discussed how to set boundaries working from home or in a hybrid home-workplace and deal with the challenges of working with others remotely. "I think our stress levels as women lawyers are probably at an all-time high," said Jennifer Gold, president of the Women's Law Association of Ontario and a partner at Wood Gold LLP. "But at the same time, I think the pandemic gives us an opportunity to revisit our vision, our values and how we want to live our lives and experience our careers as lawyers." Gold also said that women should not be "complicit in maintaining those structures and systems, and that we're doing all we can to change society and change those systems that are in place and holding us back." Yola Ventresca, a partner at Lerners LLP, noted that the pandemic has strained and, in some cases, all but destroyed the support networks that women rely on at work and home. The feedback she has received from female lawyers included stories of frustra- tion, anxiety, burnout and anger. "These women feel that they are working in an unsustainable way, with no downtime and no separation between life and work." Ventresca also said that many junior female lawyers feel the "paternalism" associ- ated with being a working lawyer and a care- giver at home. "I've heard from young woman lawyers about lost opportunities to work on important files during the pandemic," she said. "[It's] work that often then goes to their male counterpart, who does not have primary child-care responsibilities or has a partner who does not work outside the home." However, she said, principals responded to this situation by lightening female lawyers' workload rather than finding strategies that would permit these female lawyers to take on that work. Kate Broer, a partner at Dentons, who deals with global client development, said getting away from the billable-hour model and taking a more "holistic view" of each lawyer's contributions would be a way of levelling the playing field for women in the legal world. Nikki Gershbain, chief inclusion officer at McCarthy T├ętrault LLP, told those at the "I think the pandemic gives us an opportunity to revisit our vision, our values and how we want to live our lives and experience our careers as lawyers." Jennifer Gold, Women's Law Association of Ontario

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Lawyer - April 2021