Recently – we’re talking within the last month, and I have been stewing about it ever since – I played poker with my husband and four of his male friends. I have been playing with this group of men for years – 20 or so and most of this group have been playing together since they were in their teens and they are all in their mid-60s now. There was, however, one significant difference on this Saturday night. A new player was introduced to our familiar table who didn’t know anything about me. A few rounds in the others were goading me into a bet and I took the bait. A six dollar bet on a couple of Aces. As this was happening, this new player turned to my husband and said “thank God you make money so that she…...read more
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Introduction Welcome to the seventh post in our series on “The National Study on the Psychological Health Determinants of Legal Professionals in Canada” (the “Study”). This groundbreaking study, published by the Université de Sherbrooke, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, and the Canadian Bar Association in December 2022, delves into the intricacies of the legal profession in Canada and the factors that impact the psychological well-being of legal professionals. In this post, we will focus on the experiences of women in the legal field, shedding light on the unique challenges they face, and exploring potential solutions. Changing Tides: Women in the Legal Profession Over the last three decades, the legal profession in Canada has seen a significant influx of women, reshaping a landscape that was once predominantly male. However, while progress has been made, the legal profession remains…...read more
In reading the recent blog of my partner and friend, The Balancing Act: Why Striving for Work-Life Balance Misses the Point, and indeed in discussing the article with her before it was published, I started thinking again about how I rejected the idea of Work-Life Balance years ago, for similar but different reasons as Cynthia. Since many of us may struggle with this concept and the expectations it sets, the connotations it implies, I thought I would share my thoughts in a rebuttal, of sorts. (Not technically a rebuttal, since I agree with her conclusion for slightly different reasons.) First, I not only enjoyed my work, I was ambitious. At the time, I felt that “ambition” was a dirty word for young lawyers, especially young female lawyers but I would not settle for work-life balance. I wanted to work hard…...read more
It can be daunting to strive for leadership roles in the legal profession. As women, we face certain barriers which impose additional hurdles. There are instances where we are not given the benefit of the doubt, or worse, we are denied a fair and transparent process. For example, there are two instances where I, unfortunately, was pressured to back away from a leadership position. Scenario one involved procuring new applicants to apply to a federal board position of a legal organization. It was encouraged that “all applicants of diverse background and experience” apply. In this particular case, I felt I was a strong candidate – I had past board experience on multiple boards, strong leadership skills, and a proven track record of teamwork and accomplishments. In the event more applicants applied than the allotted slots, there would be a public…...read more
Halloween may now be behind us, but we arguably face something even more terrifying each and every week – the Sunday Scaries. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few years, the Sunday Scaries are feelings of anxiety or dread that happen the day before heading back to work. According to data collected by LinkedIn, eighty percent of professionals say they experience the Sunday Scaries. While this weekly impending doom may seem inevitable, there are ways to avoid or mitigate these feelings. It may be useful to set boundaries on the weekend and disconnect from your professional email and other accounts. Taking some time on Sundays to practice relaxation and self-care can also be useful to set yourself up for success. Prioritizing sleep and entering the week well-rested can also be helpful. While…...read more
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