WILO stands for Women in Law Organisation. We are a student run mentoring program, which pairs female ANU law students with professional women in the legal sector.
The program is supported by the Women Lawyers Association (ACT) and the Law Students’ Society at the Australian National University.
In Australia, more than half of law graduates are female. In fact, recent statistics from Graduate Careers Australia suggest that 63% of law graduates are female. Unfortunately, the careers of female law students do not reflect this positive trajectory. Women in the legal sector remain underrepresented in positions of leadership and influence as well as economic reward.
While the factors contributing to this situation are numerous and complex, the absence of mentoring programs and networking opportunities has been identified as one barrier to the progression of women's careers. Mentoring programs based in universities can forge mutually beneficial relation-ships between law students seeking guidance and experienced legal professionals.
Our program has run since Semester 2 2016, and has paired more than 200 outstanding ANU female law students with women in the legal profession in Canberra. Both mentees and mentors have responded extremely positively to our program and have provided excellent feedback.
Students have found their mentors' advice, motivation and encouragement has been invaluable in supporting both their university careers and developing their plans for post-university. Similarly, mentors have reported that the program has provided them with learning and developing opportunities from guiding their students, as well as a sense of satisfaction from supporting students in achieving their goals.
WILO was founded by ANU Law students Ruth Parsons, Hannah Cameron and Mara Lejins. Current WILO committee members include Tiffany Wilken, Amber Barney, MacCallum Johnson and Phyllida Behm.