Nehan Sethi remembers her experience of interning as a student with a private firm where she learnt first-hand what working in the male-dominated legal sector is like.
A mix-up at the workplace had led to two senior partners, a man and a woman, being rebuked by their senior. However, the woman partner was berated more and Sethi believes it was because of her gender.
“Although both were getting scolded, it seemed to be more focused on the woman partner. The boss even implied that it [the error] must have happened due to her having to look after her child even though both the partners had children of the same age.”
The incident was a major catalyst in Sethi’s decision to set up a platform to build a community for women lawyers. Sethi graduated from Symbiosis Law School, Pune, in March 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic started sweeping through the country.
However, the health crisis, uncertainty, and disruption brought on by the pandemic opened new possibilities for Sethi’s passion project, Her Forum.
In July 2020, just after she started working at a law firm in Pune, Sethi set up Her Forum, her effort to build a community for women in the male-dominated legal sector. Now, along with five other women lawyers, she has built a vibrant community for women lawyers online.
Her Forum is an online platform that shares success stories of women in the sector, conducts interviews of senior women lawyers, and encourages networking among women lawyers, both current and future ones.
“The idea was to essentially create a platform that connects women by setting up various events and forming a community that highlights success stories to increase the recognition for women in the sector, to encourage networking among them, and to provide peer support,” said Sethi.
The forum also publishes opinion pieces and analyses by law students on laws and judgments related to women.
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