Get to know the finalists for Woman of the Year at the Women and Diversity in Law Awards – part four

Ahead of the Women & Diversity in Law Awards in March, we profile the shortlisted contenders for the prestigious Woman of the Year Award

(l-r) Lloydette Bai-Marrow, Mary Bonsor, Sharon Thomas

In this fourth and final part of our rundown of the shortlisted candidates for the flagship Woman of the Year Award at Global Legal Post’s Women & Diversity in Law Awards, we profile three women in law dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion across the industry and beyond.

Click here to read the full shortlist for the category. The awards take place in London on 13 March.

Lloydette Bai-Marrow, Parametric Global Consulting

Lloydette Bai-Marrow is founding partner of Parametric Global Consulting, a boutique corporate investigations consultancy, having previously worked as a senior prosecutor in the Serious Fraud Office. She is also co-founder and director of the Black Women in Leadership Network, which seeks to increase representation of Black women in leadership and decision-making roles. She is committed to promoting a career in law for those who may not see becoming a lawyer as a possibility. At university, she was a Widening Participation ambassador where she engaged with students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and as a government lawyer she spoke at law fairs and mentored young Black lawyers. Bai-Marrow founded her business without the support of any networks or contacts to call on, striving to build the company and raise her profile in a niche area of consultancy while juggling multiple commitments as a mother to young children.

Mary Bonsor, Flex Legal

Mary Bonsor is a property litigator and founder of Flex Legal, an on-demand legal resourcing service to pair law graduates seeking legal work experience with in-house teams that are under-resourced. In her efforts to make the legal industry more diverse and socially mobile, she also launched the Flex Trainee scheme, a social mobility initiative to help aspiring lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds qualify in-house via the SQE. To date, Flex Legal has helped thousands of law grads access career-boosting work experience, with more than 300 placements directly resulting in trainee contracts. The Flex Trainee scheme has also helped 50 aspiring solicitors to qualify since it was launched in 2021. That commitment to diversity and social mobility is reflected by the lawyers on Flex’s platform: 59% are women, almost 53% are BAME and almost four in five (79%) are state-school educated. Flex Legal was also recognised by the Independent newspaper as the fastest-growing female-founded company in the UK. Flex Legal was acquired by Mishcon de Reya in January.

Sharon Thomas, Black Counsel Forum

Sharon Thomas is the founder of the Black Counsel Forum (BCF), a community for Black lawyers to support and empower each other, share their experiences and network. The platform, which was founded in 2022, helps facilitate introductions, provides mentoring and coaching opportunities, and organises social events. The BCF also has an annual event, where attendees can engage in immersive learning, develop their skills and learn from industry speakers on topics such as mastering client relationships and handling workplace stress. The 2023 event was attended by more than 300 delegates and spread over two days – double the size of the inaugural event in 2022. With a mission to connect, uplift and inspire Black legal professionals in the UK, the platform is seeking to dismantle barriers for Black lawyers and help them navigate and advance their law careers.

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