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Archive for January, 2012

Those who attended the panel discussion last week on “Women in Corporate Law: Is the Gender Divide Fact or Fiction” (or those who missed it but are interested in the topic anyway) may be interested in this article by Prof. Aaron A. Dhir (Osgoode Hall): “Towards a Race and Gender-Conscious Conception of the Firm: Canadian Corporate Governance, Law and Diversity” (2010) 35  Queen’s L J 569. Prof. Dhir is currently writing a book on corporate governance and diversity, which we at the FLF plan on keeping an eye out for.

Join the discussion! Do you think corporate law is currently constituted as race and/or gender conscious? How does last week’s panel discussion fit into all of this? Do you have any news articles or readings to share with us on the topic? The FLF is always anxious to hear your thoughts!

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The recent Tory assault on a woman’s right to choose continued this week. This Globe and Mail article details the intention of a Tory Backbencher, Stephen Woodworth, to bring a motion that would seek to have MPs debate whether a fetus is a human at conception, or at the moment a baby has fully emerged from the birth canal (as Canadian law currently holds): http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/mps-have-duty-to-debate-rights-of-unborn-backbench-tory-argues/article2299369/

This is part of a series of moves by Tory Backbenchers to re-open the “abortion debate” and is distressing for anyone who believes in the need to protect a woman’s right to choose and to make her own decisions about her body and her life. Social conservatives have been steadily working to erode this right.

This is a contentious subject (for some – we at the FLF consider the matter closed. See R v Morgentaler (1988), and in particular, the strong concurring opinion by Justice Wilson). What are your thoughts? How should this political maneuvering be addressed by  feminists and allies?

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On Thursday January 26th from 12 – 1:30 in room 205, the Feminist Legal Forum and the Business Law Group will be hosting a panel discussion on “Women in Corporate Law: Is the Gender Divide Fact or Fiction?” This exciting panel discussion is sponsored by the Desautels Centre for Private Enterprise and the Law. The Desautels Centre will be providing lunch. Please RSVP to flf.robsonhall@gmail.com Space is limited.

This event will query the existence of a gender divide in corporate law. Today, more than half of law school grads are women, yet women remain starkly underrepresented in senior positions in law firms. Particularly in corporate law, there is an apparent thinning of the ranks when looking at women in private practice at the senior level. Yet, many women in corporate/commercial law have chosen alternative careers that see them occupying positions of even greater power. So is there a gender divide? If so, what impact does it have on the gender divide? What are we doing about it? What should we be doing about it?

The FLF and BLG have invited 4 guest speakers to join us as panel members. Eleanor Wiebe, Q.C. is a partner with Fillmore Riley LLP and has practiced commercial law for over 25 years. She was the second woman in Fillmore’s history to become a Fillmore partner. Margaret Redmond is the President and CEO of the Assiniobine Park Conservancy. Ms Redmond  served as a Chief Strategic Officer at the Canadian Wheat Board as well as Executive Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary over an eleven year period. Linda Vincent is the Vice President of ICE Futures Canada Inc, which is is dedicated to providing a public marketplace for responsive price discovery and risk  transfer of commodities with efficiency and integrity. She articled and practiced with TDS for six years before joining the Manitoba Securities Commission in 1992 as Assistant Counsel. Ms Vincent joined the Winnipeg Commodities Exchange (now ICE Futures) in 1998. Mary McGunigal has been a Crown Counsel with Civil Legal Services SOA of Manitoba Justice since 1999. She works in the area of corporate commercial law. Prior to joining the Manitoba government, she was associated with the firm of D’Arcy and Deacon LLP. These four panellists will be sharing their thoughts and experiences with us in a discussion moderated by Prof. John Pozios, Director of the Desautels Centre.

There is a lot to discuss on this topic. To get your thoughts flowing, check out some of the links below:

Survey Reveals Profile of Unhappy Worker: She’s Unmarried, 42, and a Lawyer or Doctor

Maureen Sabia: She means business

The 10 Worst Stereotypes about Powerful Women

LSUC Justicia Project and Justicia Project firm committment (Note: The Law Society of Manitoba is implementing the Justicia Project and it will be adapted for Manitoba based on the LSUC model, which is part of a national law societies initiative to implement the Justicia Project in other jurisdictions. Karen Clearwater and Brenlee Carrington are the two lawyers co-chairing the LSM Justicia implementation committee with the guidance of LSM deputy CEO Marilyn Billinkoff and the Equity Committee. They are in the very early stages at the moment.)

LSUC Extends Justicia Project

Glass Ceiling Still Exists

Why SuperMom is Leaving the Law Firm

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