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A recurring theme at the International Women's Day breakfast held at the Law Society of NSW was that while we have made progress in creating a more inclusive world for women, "there is a lot to be done".

The President of the Law Society of NSW Brett McGrath kicked off the International Women’s Day celebrations by acknowledging that while we have made strides in collectively forging a more inclusive world for women, “there is a lot to be done”. 

Speaking in front of a packed room which included the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, the Honourable Andrew Bell, McGrath emphasised the need to continue to “make real changes”. 

Justice Dina Yehia, the keynote speaker at the sold-out event, also acknowledged the significant progress made in this area but she echoed the sentiment that there is “more work to be done”. 

Justice Yehia encouraged the profession to be curious about the stories of others, strengthen efforts to accelerate the inclusion of women, such as those from diverse backgrounds in the profession, and to learn more about their experiences. 

Sharing stories from her own career, Justice Yehia acknowledged the role that male allies can play to accelerate progress and the advancement of women in the legal profession. 

“I have had the benefit of the support, guidance, and mentoring of male solicitors and barristers during my career,” she said. 

Justice Yehia also stressed the importance of diversity, which she said was not limited to gender diversity, and included “women with caring responsibilities, women from culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds, women from low socio-economic backgrounds, LGBTQI+ persons.” 

Her Honour also spoke about the benefits of diversity to the legal profession and the bench. 

“Diversity on the bench is fundamentally important to continued community confidence in the courts, our system of justice and in the judiciary,” her Honour said. 

Justice Yehia provided tips on how to increase inclusivity and accelerate progress through systemic change. She encouraged the profession, especially those in decision making positions, to be “very conscious of the considerations at play”, when allocating a case and briefing Counsel.  

Photo credit: @Oneill Photographics