Search

Barrister Justine Thornton says sexism still a problem for women lawyers at Camden school talk

15:44 12 March 2014

Justine Thornton (Ed Miliband wife) taking part in 'Inspiring women' event  with other lawyers at Parliament Hill School

Justine Thornton (Ed Miliband wife) taking part in 'Inspiring women' event with other lawyers at Parliament Hill School

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Top lawyer Justine Thornton – wife of Labour leader Ed Miliband – has spoken out about sexism in the legal professions at a talk to schoolchildren to mark International Women’s Week.

Justine Thornton (Ed Miliband wife) taking part in 'Inspiring women' event  with other lawyers at Parliament Hill SchoolJustine Thornton (Ed Miliband wife) taking part in 'Inspiring women' event with other lawyers at Parliament Hill School

Ms Thornton, an environmental barrister, said she realised how important it was to have events dedicated to women’s issues as, after 20 years in law, she attended her first court case where all the legal professionals involved were women only this month.

She became even more convinced after overhearing a court clerk say that the case should be named “the battle of the babes”.

Ms Thornton, who lives with Mr Miliband in Dartmouth Park, made the comments at a legal careers event for 12 and 13-year-olds at all-girl Parliament Hill School, in Highgate Road, on Friday, the day before International Women’s Day.

“When I was thinking about what to say to you all, I wasn’t sure if we needed a women’s week,” she told the group of 40 Year 8 girls.

Justine Thornton (Ed Miliband wife) taking part in 'Inspiring women' event  with other lawyers at Parliament Hill SchoolJustine Thornton (Ed Miliband wife) taking part in 'Inspiring women' event with other lawyers at Parliament Hill School

“There are quite a lot of female lawyers and 176 female QCs have been appointed as of last year, a lot better than the two female QCs appointed in 1949 – the first time women were appointed.

“But then you realise that 1,034 men have been appointed as QCs and that in the last 65 years, only 15 per cent of the top barristers in the country are women.”

Ms Thornton, along with seven other female lawyers, took it in turns to speak to tables of pupils on the last day of the school’s Women of the World Week.

Each group had about eight minutes to ask the women how they got into law and what their jobs entail, before the lawyers moved to a different table at the speed-networking session.

Margaux Pignet-Mayer, 13, said: “It was kind of inspiring to meet them and it has given me a lot of ideas about how it all works.”

The session was hosted by charity Inspiring the Future, a free service that organises visits by professionals to state schools to talk about their jobs.

Anna Peduzzi, deputy headteacher, said: “The idea is that we are extending our careers education and provision across Years 7, 8, 9 and upwards.

“We wanted to inspire the Year 8 girls and to give them an understanding of a wide range of professions and we want them to experience it by having women in powerful positions big them up.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Fri, 18:35

A Crouch End woman and three others have been sentenced for their roles in attempting to defraud a Camden housing association of nearly £430,000.

Fri, 15:29

A Gospel Oak care home made no notes of a patient’s penicillin allergy on the medical charts, a care watchdog report found

Fri, 11:37

A 30-year-old male cyclist is in a serious condition in hospital after reportedly careering into the rear window of a parked car in Regent’s Park.

Fri, 11:28

Management consultant begged to be spared prison after kicking the driver outside an exclusive club

Thu, 13:01

The power of the community in working for change has been demonstrated with steps taken to deal with two major traffic issues

Thu, 11:24

Revellers of all ages descended on Waterlow Park on Saturday to celebrate its glorious 125-year history

Thu, 08:00

A Hampstead family claim their beloved Pomeranian dog Chewy died after being bitten by a neighbour’s Alsatian dog.

Thu, 07:00

A controversial late-night restaurant in Hampstead has agreed to reduce its opening hours following armed carjackings during which shots were fired.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now