Susanne McGraw, Watermans ’Associate Director, is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury. A mother of two, not only does Susanne hold a direct management in a legal firm but she is also a supporter of many community causes.
“Who is your female icon and what makes them iconic?”
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC. She came from a working-class background and went to the local high school in Glasgow and despite having no connections became a barrister in a very male dominated profession. It was not easy for men without connections to become a barrister never mind a woman and so to do it at that time was amazing She has tirelessly fought for women’s rights and for the rights of those who have no one to speak for them. She became the voice of the minority. She is my icon because she rose to the top and was fearless at a time when it was unusual and extremely difficult for women to even have a voice and be at the forefront of changing the law.
How has your industry changed over the years?
Our industry has changed immensely over the years. When I was at university most of the students were male and women were still very much in the minority. It was also unusual to see a female partner and even more unusual to find one who was married. Now the vast majority of trainees that we see are female and it is more and more common to see women in positions of power taking control. We are taking the lead and not just following the male lead. We shouldn’t rest on our laurels as there is still a disparity in the number of women in these leading roles, but it is good to see things changing and moving in the right direction.
What further steps do you consider need to be made to achieve true equality for women?
As a gender we have to support each other more and encourage other women in reaching their goals not just because we are women but because the person has the ability and the right to be there. The world needs women in positions of power, and we need to work together with men in order to make our world work better. We also need to have the courage to go for what we want instead of waiting to be asked because if we are good enough male or female we will get there.