ILEX & women in the workplace

Legal executive to feature in key report on the role of women in the workplace

Legal executive Lesley Graham has been selected to feature in a landmark report on women in the workplace.

The report, Closing the Gender Skills Gap, commissioned by the prestigious National Skills Forum, will be launched today (3 February). The report is the result of a nine-month study into women in the workplace. It focuses closely on exploring ways to close the gender skills gap by removing many of the barriers faced by women who wish to develop their skills, and the hurdles which also face women wishing to re-enter the workforce after a career break.

Lesley (51) was chosen to represent women who have benefited from gaining skills and education that have led to a career change later in their working life.

She was able to train for a career as a lawyer thanks to the qualifications available through the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX). “About three quarters of the people who go through the ILEX courses to become legal executives are women,” says Lesley. ”Often they are women like me who get a role as a legal secretary before realising that they are capable of much more.”

“Because the ILEX course is part-time, you earn as you learn, which is important for mature learners who can’t afford to become full-time students and not have a salary. Without the opportunity to train for a career in this way many excellent lawyers would have been lost to the legal profession.”

Lesley’s own story is one of dedication and perseverance. She left school aged 16 with just a few O-levels. In her early thirties Lesley made the decision to become a legal executive lawyer, despite having a young family of four. After five years of study, she qualified as a lawyer.

“I am really proud about this”, she says. ”I am also proud that, coming from a working class background with hardly any qualifications, I am now a legal executive lawyer and can help clients with their problem.”

posted 04.02.09