By: 6 March 2020
Wilkin Chapman reveals gender equality strides ahead of International Women’s Day

Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire firm Wilkin Chapman has revealed the strides it has made in the area of equal employment within its offices.

Over the past two decades, the number of equity and fixed share partners has risen from just two women to 17. While this does lag behind the number of men in these roles—with that total standing at 30—the gender divide will continue to decrease with a high percentage of females coming through the ranks, according to the firm.

Wilkin Chapman also revealed that 44 of its 63 senior solicitors and solicitors are women. There are 10 trainee solicitors and all those positions are filled by females.

A gender diversity study that was compiled and released by Wilkin Chapman last year showed how the support teams across the firm’s offices in Grimsby, Lincoln, Beverley and the Lincolnshire Wolds are female-dominated.

Those roles directly supporting the firm’s lawyers are 100% filled by women, with 70% of people within business and managerial support also being female.

Lisa Boileau (pictured) is head of the family department and was the first woman to be appointed a partner at Wilkin Chapman more than 15 years ago—followed, on her return from maternity leave, by Claire Parker.

Boileau said: “When I was training to become a solicitor, I was invited to a business dinner. I walked in the room of approximately 200 people and counted eight women, including myself in the room. Now, I walk into a room and I don’t give it a second thought. I have no need to count.”

“I feel blessed not to have to give issues over gender equality a thought in my day-to-day life. Twenty years ago, the world was very different, and it is wonderful to see how much can change in one generation.”

Several events are going on in Yorkshire today and next week to mark International Women’s Day.

The Leeds office of Devonshires is taking part in #FaceTheFuture, a global campaign aiming to capture the diverse face of women in law (and their male allies) across the world.

The firm—with Next 100 Years, the UK’s national campaign aiming to share the achievements of women in law and shape a more equal and diverse future for the profession—is hosting a pop-up at its new office in Leeds today between 10am and 5pm, where interested parties can drop by, no registration needed, and have their photo taken by a professional photographer.

As well as being sent to you, the portraits taken will be used by Next 100 Years to create a digital gallery and physical exhibition showing just how diverse the legal profession is.

Follow this link to find out more and see the release form you’ll need to sign to take part.

Next week, Parklane Plowden and Leeds Junior Family Lawyers are sponsoring a special charity evening to mark International Women’s Day 2020.

Taking place at BPP University’s Whitehall Centre in Leeds on 11 March from 5.30pm to 7pm, Getaway Girls will talk about its work empowering girls and young women, and attendees will hear from a panel of Yorkshire’s leading female lawyers.

Tickets cost £10, although the event is half price for pupils and free for students. There will be drinks, snacks and a raffle during the evening. All proceeds to Getaway Girls.

The event’s organisers expect the event to be in high demand, so RSVP via or to avoid disappointment.