She Breaks the Law
There are many initiatives that are aimed at supporting women in law or driving disruption. Team Wavelength attended a launch event for a new network and we talk about why we think that She Breaks the Law could have real impact.
She Breaks the Law, by Barbara Hamilton-Bruce and Emma Calder
Early on Thursday 25th April, four women from the Wavelength team attended the launch of a new network ‘She Breaks the Law’. Grown on LinkedIn to 800 individuals within a matter of weeks the network aims to provide a platform for connecting the women leaders of disruptive legal sector change. The ethos of the group is simple: through the sharing of knowledge and experience we can develop and create new ideas with like-minded women across the world.
Our introductions to the initiative came through network connections and this experience was similar for others attending the launch; like-minded individuals sharing the energy of the idea and co-opting contacts through conversation. This meant from the minute we walked through the door there were faces to recognise and ‘in real life’ connections to be made from virtual introductions through social media. The engagement was genuine, and it almost lifted the basement venue in Lexis House to street level!
It was critical that this launch event established the mandate and purpose of this group to help differentiate it from the myriad of other networking groups that we can draw upon - and it certainly did that. It was clear that ‘She Breaks the Law’s’ value and impact originate from silo-breaking of specialism, knowledge, employment or business structure and location. For those used to working or striving for collaboration, the diversity in perspective and absence of silos was ideal and the connecting thread ’leading’ kept the event future focused. In their opening address the group’s founders, Nicky Leijtens, Priya Lele and Christie Guimond, emphasised the shared understanding of the pressures and challenges faced by woman in leadership roles as well as the challenges of leading and doing things differently within the sector.
Over two hours participants had the opportunity to engage in facilitated conversations that encouraged the sharing of ideas and exchange of experiences in themed ‘networking circles’. Each networking circle facilitator had a different background and perspective on the sector and engagement was conducted under the Chatham House Rule to underpin trust building. This format allowed for specific and practical sharing: for example, in the Legal Design circle, creative ideas were offered up to help the challenge of finding the right design language to solve problems. These discussions were a helpful and refreshing break from typical networking events where business motivations often direct conversations towards pitching.
When there is so much energy in a room and a real sense of connection from participants its easy to get caught in the moment; everything seems possible, everything achievable. So, this blog is written a few days after for time to reflect: does this initiative have what it takes to get out of the basement and translate into every day life? To be something that will make a genuine difference and produce long lasting change? The consensus of the Wavelength Team is that this initiative is a winner and one that has all the facets to bring about personal and collective improvement. It’s global reach and cross-sector ‘silo-busting’ approach directly addresses the challenges: its members have the power and opportunity to effect change in their legal space and to lend their ideas to help others: the power really is in collaboration and the sharing of knowledge. Next stop for ‘She Breaks The Law’, New York!
The Wavelength team at She Breaks the Law