Shirley E. Greenberg Receives Friend of the WLMP Award

WLMP/PMDFThe Women’s Legal Mentorship Program (“WLMP”) marked the completion of its 5-year pilot project by recognizing trailer blazers and emerging legal leaders at the annual WLMP Legal Leaders Breakfast hosted by the WLMP’s uOttawa Chapter.

Shirley E. Greenberg is the first recipient of the Friend of the WLMP Award. This award recognizes a WLMP legal mentor, ally organization or supporter for their dedication to women’s legal mentorship and work to increase the retention of women in the law.

Shirley E. Greenberg is a trailblazer. Her legacy of both advocating for and supporting women’s organizations across Ontario has improved the lives of countless women.  She is a strong feminist advocate, who recognized early on the need for programming that directly addresses the issue of women and their legal careers.  As a result, she championed women’s issues and supported programming aimed at increasing the role of women in the law.” says Charlotte Wolters, Founder of the WLMP.

In addition to the Friend of the WLMP Award, Alexandra (Sasha) Toten was awarded the WLMP’s Emerging Legal Leader Award. The WLMP Emerging Legal Leader Award is bestowed on a WLMP Alumna for her ongoing dedication to upholding WLMP mentorship principles and her dedication to the retention of women in the law.

Since graduating from law school and the WLMP Program, Ms. Toten continues to mentor women in the first years of their law careers.  She is also a registered WLMP Legal mentor as well as volunteering on the Executive of the Young Women in Law (YWL), in addition to practicing law at Minden Gross LLP in Toronto.

“It’s wonderful to see what started as thought experiment really take off.  With the completion of the WLMP’s 5-year pilot project, the WLMP Board is hoping to expand. Given the access to justice issues, it’s more important than ever to ensure that women continue their legal careers. Addressing this issue needs to start at the law school level. WLMP Alumna like Ms. Toten are an example of how the WLMP’s unique programming offered in law schools can help female law students take on mentorship and leadership roles beyond the classroom and into practice.” says Ms. Wolters.

The WLMP also announced the creation of its Founder’s Award, which will be bestowed in 2017 and also the WLMP Peer Mentor award, which will be awarded to a WLMP student mentor next year.

The WLMP — the first of its kind in Canada —  is a national not-for-profit that aims to shift the culture of the legal profession and increase the retention of women in the law by helping female law students and WLMP Alumna develop their mentorship and leadership skills and establish networks that grow with them throughout their legal careers from the classroom to the courtroom and beyond.

In 2011, the WLMP piloted its first university Chapter at the University of Ottawa. Currently, the WLMP is working to partner and expand its program to other Canadian law schools.

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Women’s Legal Mentorship Program Celebrates One Year Anniversary by Unveiling Official Logo

The Women’s Legal Mentorship Program (“WLMP”) celebrated the one year anniversary of its incorporation as a not-for-profit by unveiling its official logo.

“We are very excited to celebrate our first anniversary by revealing our official logo. It represents our continued growth and hard work as we expand the WLMP’s programming nationally,” says Charlotte Wolters, WLMP Founder and Board Chair.

WLMP LogoLee Portas of Frisbee Studios designed the WLMP’s logo icon to represent women law students’ professional development. The interconnecting chain of leaves symbolizes both the knowledge and growth gained through the WLMP’s unique three part mentorship programming.

The WLMP — the first of its kind in Canada — aims to shift the culture of the legal profession and increase the retention of women in the law by helping female law students and WLMP Alumna develop their mentorship and leadership skills and establish networks that grow with them throughout their legal careers from the classroom to the courtroom and beyond.

“Addressing the issue of retention of women in the legal profession requires a comprehensive approach that includes female law students and gives them a chance to practice and develop their skills before they enter the legal profession. Increasing the number of women in the legal profession also improves Canadians’ access to justice,” says Ms. Wolters.

The WLMP is a national not-for-profit that partners with Canadian law schools to provide comprehensive, feminist legal mentorship and professional skills development programming. In 2011, the WLMP piloted its first university Chapter at the University of Ottawa. Currently, the WLMP is working to partner and expand its program to other Canadian law schools.

Still Confused About Mansplaining?

Mansplaining is more than a buzzword. The word is descriptive and explains itself. The primary purpose behind mansplaining is to silence a person.

Maybe you’re doubting the reality or frequency of mansplaining, or you’re wondering if there’s any science to back up this phenomena. If so, then check out this video produced by Upworthy showing not only some of the various mansplaining techniques, but also the frequency in which women are silenced from classroom spaces, to office spaces, to traditional media and social media and onwards.

Next time you receive some mansplaining, you may want to consider explaining to them how disrespectful it is to all people.

Have You Seen the Viral Ad Urging Partners to #ShareTheLoad?

If you are thinking we’re talking about legal partners, then you’ll be disappointed. We’re talking about life partners and the growing conversation about the chore gap.

The chore gap. Melinda Gates has shed light on the inequality faced by women on the home front. The Atlantic magazine covered the topic. We even blogged about it and linked to the Atlantic article on February 24th.

Now BBDO, a global advertising firm, which was apparently the inspiration for Mad Men and is known for its forward thinking ads, has gotten on board. Their Mumbai office decided to reflect the chore gap issue in their laundry detergent ad and promote gender equity at home through their #ShareTheLoad hashtag.

The laundry ad shows a father watching his grown daughter come home from her full-time job, make supper, take care of her son while her partner watches TV. The father reflects on how both he and society contributed to creating the chore gap.

Since the ad aired, it has gone viral. To view it just click on the video below.

Putting aside the criticisms of consumerism and social issue based marketing, this ad campaign does raise the issue of the chore gap and its roots. That’s why we’ve posted this ad.

March is Women’s History Month. The issue of the “chore gap”  is strongly intertwined with women’s history. It’s one of the systemic barriers to women’s careers and progress.

As lawyers and future lawyers, women often come face to face with the chore gap early in their career. In the face of these pressures, the reaction of many will be, “Just hire help. As a lawyer you can afford it.” However, that’s a myth. Canadian law school graduates are incurring huge debt. Just read the Law Students’ Society of Ontario (LSSO) report. This makes hiring help an impossibility for some young women lawyers in their early phase of their careers.

The pressures faced by women on the home front is undeniable. There is an impact on women’s career paths as they juggle their “chores” and their careers. Work life balance isn’t just about having down time to decompress from your busy career. Work life balance is an equity issue.

We encourage everyone to keep the chore gap conversation going at home and at work.

According to Prof Michelle Ryan, women start out as ambitious as men but it erodes over time.

The findings of this report isn’t news to most women. While women are graduating in record numbers form post-secondary school, the representation of women in the professions is still lagging. One of the greatest myths used to explain this away is that women aren’t as ambitious as men.

As part of its series debunking myths, The Guardian profiles the work of Michelle Ryan, a professor of social and organisational psychology at the University of Exeter. Professor Ryan determined that “Many women are just as ambitious as men when they begin their careers, but become so wearied by fighting against multiple structural and experiential barriers to their success that this ambition often wanes.”

We recommend reading the whole story. Learn more by clicking here.