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Breaking biases at Burges Salmon

Lauren Brenton, Marketing Campaigns Assistant at Burgess Salmon and Totum Rising Star writes for The Professionals.

The annual International Women’s Day celebrations began at Burges Salmon last week with the firm hosting a Break the Bias panel event for its employees.

I was part of this panel alongside other inspirational young professionals from across the firm, and here is my key takeaway.

The theme of International Women’s Day this year is Break the Bias, encouraging everyone to think about how we can break biases in our communities and workplaces. People across the globe struck the IWD 2022 pose of crossing their arms to show their solidarity with the message of breaking the bias and actively calling out discrimination and stereotyping.

At Burges Salmon, our IWD 2022 panel event celebrated young women who have been breaking traditional stereotypes – whether that is through an unconventional route into their profession, balancing work and life priorities in unusual ways, or by excelling in an environment that is often seen to have a gender bias.

The discussion centred around how we entered our roles, the values we live by, our strengths, and what advice we can offer to others in terms of being confident and finding motivation. I felt lucky to be involved in this conversation, having the opportunity to express my views and opinions, specifically how my values affect my work life.

When I joined Burges Salmon at 18 straight from sixth form, I had certain expectations about what working in a corporate law firm would be like, I thought it was going to be a daunting and scary experience where I couldn’t afford to make mistakes and would be penalised if I did. Looking back, I feel silly that I ever thought like that as I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I live by the value that everyone is human, and we all have things going on in our lives that people don’t know about that. Everyone should be treated with respect and fairness. We’re allowed to make mistakes, and as a young woman I know that I, and many others I know, feel anxious at the thought of making mistakes. This shouldn’t be the case.

We need to make mistakes to learn and no one should be afraid of making errors or be looked down on if they do make a mistake. All workplaces should adopt this way of thinking to help make their employees, not just female employees, feel more comfortable with making mistakes, because we all do.

As a young professional in the firm, this panel event was important as it showed people across the firm, at all levels, that we are all in this journey of breaking biases together. How did you break the bias this International Women’s Day?

Lauren Brenton is a Marketing Campaigns Assistant at Burgess Salmon. She is one of Totum’s Rising Stars, recognised for outstanding contribution to legal marketing. 

Matt Baldwin
Co-founder – Coast Communications

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