In light of our values, Themis aims to:
Advance the rights of women at the employed and self-employed Bar at every stage of life, from access to the profession to retirement;
Tackle the gender inequality and structural inequalities affecting women at the Bar, particularly women of ethnic minority backgrounds, women with disabilities, LGBTQI+ women, and members of other underrepresented groups;
Inform members and the Bar more broadly about particular
issues facing women at the Bar, both in general and on the
basis of intersectional experiences, and about means of
Create an inclusive network of women at the Bar, both online and in-person, to widen opportunities for women;
Progress the rights of women by widening access to justice for women litigants; and
Incentivise research, discussion and proposals for reform of the law and legal processes that primarily or disproportionately affect women and women's rights.
✦ Equality and Diversity
✦ Intersectionality and Inclusivity
✦ Community and Collaboration
At Themis' first AGM in late 2020, it is hoped that the membership will elect a new, diverse and representative Executive Committee for the coming year. Until then, Themis is being established and run on a voluntary basis by:
Yimika Akeredolu (BPTC student)
Nadia Bari (BPTC student)
Adiba Bassam (3 Dr Johnson's Buildings)
Beth Collett (8 New Square)
Margherita Cornaglia (Doughty Street Chambers)
Aqsa Hussain (Third-six pupil at No.5 Barristers' Chambers)
Emily Jermin (BPTC student)
Ailsa McKeon (6KBW College Hill)
Divya Robinson (Sole Practitioner)
Anogika Souresh (1COR Brighton)
Srishti Suresh (Coram)
Luna Spada (BPTC student)
Abimbola Johnson (25 Bedford Row) - Advisory Member
Shazia Akhtar (Hardwicke Chambers) - Advisory Member
Monica Young - Volunteer
Shigufa Omarzaiy - Volunteer
Themis was established in 2020 by Margherita Cornaglia (Doughty Street Chambers), Ailsa McKeon (6KBW College Hill), and Luna Spada (aspiring pupil). The impetus behind creating Themis was the lack of any organisation actively bringing together and progressively representing the interests of women barristers, regardless of their practice area.
More specifically, it seemed that particular attention needed to be paid to the experience of women from groups underrepresented at the Bar. We wanted to create a diverse community of women supporting women.
The name ‘Themis’ comes from Greek mythology, and is the name given to the goddess representing the personification of justice, wisdom and good counsel. She is the Ancient Greek version of Iustitia, or Lady Justice, who we see in statues by court buildings, carrying the scales to represent her balance and good judgment. The name ‘Themis’ was chosen for its representation of justice, which is both in the nature of the legal profession but also something that Themis seeks to achieve among members of the Bar.
We also chose to incorporate the concepts of intersectionality and alliance within our name to manifest commitment to inclusiveness, diversity and equality, rather than hierarchy and exclusion. Our logo was designed to incorporate the traditional colours associated with International Women’s Day, purple and green, and to symbolise women at differing stages of their journey to or at the Bar, who could be any one of the thousands of women practising as, or training to become, a barrister.
We know other organisations exist focusing on specific experiences and identities. We are keen to work together with other organisations in the interests of all women at the Bar; we do not want to duplicate efforts to step on any toes!
If your organisation would like to partner with Themis for a specific even or more broadly, please get in touch with us via the links below.