In this day and age, few can deny that gender inequality still has a strong grip on the world at large. Despite the breakneck pace at which both technology and societies have been evolving over the past century, women are not only still underrepresented in both workplaces and as entrepreneurs but actively face discrimination in the form of the wage gap, mobbing, or worse.
To put it simply, the traditionally male-dominated world still doesn’t understand the equal capabilities of female workers. As illustrated by the McAllister Olivarius Law Firm and their experience, this often leads to discrimination in the workplace and the job market.
Fortunately, history is full of women who saw through that desperate attempt at upholding the ages-old status quo and pushed back.
There are numerous examples of world-famous female lawyers that fought gender bias by not only excelling in their fields but even exceeding the achievements of their contemporary male colleagues, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Allred, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Sonia Sotomayor. Read on and learn the truth behind these fascinating personas!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Undoubtedly, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of the most famous female lawyers in the United States. In recent times, she was known as a very prominent liberal-leaning Supreme Court judge and an excellent feminist activist.
Join Our Small Business Community
Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.
Before becoming a judge, however, she used to work as a professor of law in the 1960s, when sexism was not only present but very much a standard in both business, law, and academic circles.
Sometime later on, in 1972 to be exact, Ruth Bader Ginsburg started the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. Her task was to fight against gender discrimination in the workplace. She did so by demonstrating that a discriminatory attitude could be harmful to both men and women alike.
She made it a point to make herself stand out. Her “no-nonsense” attitude, coupled with her impressive legal skills, earned her the respect of both judges and colleagues alike. She proved time and time again that women could have a successful career in law should they desire such a professional path.
Ginsburg’s greatest achievement was definitely her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993, which made her the second female Supreme Court judge in American history. She has served with distinction as a judge until her untimely passing in 2020, thus showing that anyone can truly achieve anything they desire, regardless of their gender.
Gloria Allred is a contemporary feminist lawyer who has been fighting for women’s rights for years. She works tirelessly to help victims of sexual harassment and assault bring their perpetrators to justice and receive justice in return. Since the 1970s, she has taken on an uncounted number of cases of this kind, some of which received significant media coverage.
In the 1990s, for example, she represented a girl against the entirety of Boys Scouts of America in a bid to determine whether the said organization had the right to exclude girls from their ranks.
In 2016, she represented several women who accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct and worked hard to make sure that the case was heard of. Her boldness has made her one of the most admired figures in law circles, and many aspiring female lawyers think of her as an inspirational figure.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Clinton is perhaps one of the most famous female lawyers in history. Clinton graduated from Yale Law School, where she met Bill Clinton, whom she later married and had a family with.
Their political careers went hand in hand for many years, with Mrs. Clinton becoming a state senator and a Secretary of State. In addition to being one of the most powerful people in the world – the wife of the former president Bill Clinton – she is also the first woman ever to be nominated as a presidential candidate by a major political party in the United States.
That happened in 2016, when she became the first female nominee of the Democratic Party and arguably one of the more qualified candidates in recent years, fighting against the then-candidate Donald Trump and losing by a close margin.
Needless to say, such an influential female figure has proven beyond all doubt that gender bias is a flawed concept and the limits of what you can do lie solely in your character and strength of will, never in your gender.
Sonia Sotomayor is another high-powered woman who became a lawyer against all odds. Born into poverty to Puerto Rican parents, she had the odds stacked against her from the beginning, as she was told that her diabetes makes her unlikely to live past the age of 50. When she was nine years old, her father passed away, further decreasing her chances of fighting the future.
Despite all these setbacks, she went on to graduate from Princeton University and the prestigious Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale Law School, Sotomayor started working as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, proving to all the naysayers how serious she was about the quality of her work.
A serious advocate for gender equality, the matters of race and ethnic identity, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman in US history to be appointed to the Supreme Court in 2009. Even now, 12 years later, she continues to be the beacon of hope to all the girls and women striving to become more than what the male-dominated world has foreseen for them.
So, what can we learn from these four remarkable women? Well, apart from the obvious lesson that women are in no way worse than men, quite plentiful. It’s important to remember that the fight for gender equality is something that has been going on for decades, and it’s still far from being over.
These four women have proven time and again that the only way to truly achieve your dream is by working hard and believing in yourself and your abilities.
If you’re a woman aspiring to a professional career in law, you can do it! Just remember that these prominent female lawyers all had their obstacles (as it was thanks to their tireless work in no small part that the situation today is slowly improving) yet still persevered without failure! Good luck!