Emily Lew

Senior Knowledge and Innovation Manager in our Knowledge and Innovation team tells us about what Break the Bias means to her and the challenges faced by women

What does Break the Bias mean to you? Are there, for example, any specific forms of bias that you have worked/are working to break or in respect of which you think further work needs to be done to break them?

I work in the innovation and legal tech team and I would love to see more women working in legal tech, which tends to be a male-dominated space, particularly in terms of founders of tech businesses.

How can allies help to break the bias (or any specific form of bias)?

It would be great to have more male allies being vocal about equality for women in the legal sector.

What have you done since the start of the pandemic to help drive diversity and inclusion – either in a professional or personal way?

I’m currently working on a project to try to encourage change in our working practices. If this can move the needle in this area even a little, this could have a great impact on people’s wellbeing and inclusion at work. Now that the pandemic has forced us to change the way we work, it would be great if we could hold on to any benefits this has brought.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women?

The ever-elusive balance between career and family. The crucial thing is the flexibility of employers on an employee’s return to work after parental leave. I have great hope that the shift in working practices engendered by the pandemic will force change in this area.

What one piece of advice would you give a woman entering the legal sector?

You don’t have to stick to the conventional career track – there is now great opportunity for alternative career paths within the law. Be open-minded and curious.

Who was/is your mentor – and why?

I’ve been lucky to have some great female bosses in my career who have acted as mentors and role models, including currently Jane Stewart and Alex Woods.

What do you think has been the most positive step forward for gender equality over the last few years?

I think this might be the pandemic – a silver lining we could not have envisaged at the start. Working practices have been overturned and there is more opportunity for flexibility than ever before. This is an exciting time to be in the workplace.