The title of the lecture by Ms Orjela was ‘Equality – Paper vs. Practice’. Fatema informed us that she started her work on equality after she saw too many of her female peers leaving the profession, failing to make it to the top. For her, this trend, of women leaving their jobs before promotion, and never returning, was the main reason for the gender pay gap within the legal sector – not any internal attitudes. She believed that it was women’s own personal views and attitudes towards their futures that detrimentally affected their job prospects. She believes this should change.
The talk was very insightful for all 30 students, male and female who attended. They were able to ask questions after the lecture and some took the opportunity to ask Fatema on her views on more broader topics of gender equality. The talk was then followed by a drinks reception, where wine and nibbles were provided by Oxford Women in Law. Here, students were able to ask Fatema Orjela more questions about her experiences as a female partner and her career in different environments/law firms.
NCLS are very grateful to Fatema for agreeing to come and speak at our Annual Lecture. The Society would also like to thank Oxford Women in Law (OWL) and the Oxford Faculty of Law for their collaboration in organising the event that proved to be a success.