The innovation that stood for liberation

The introduction of the birth control pill in the ‘60s heralded the so-called sexual revolution. It was a huge leap forward for women’s liberation – in more ways than one. 40 years on, the next generation contraceptive patch continued this legacy.

Around the time that the first contraceptive pills were prescribed, US college courses were primarily a male domain. In 1970, 95% of students studying law and MBAs were men, while women made up just 1% of dentistry graduates. By 1980, however, a third of these classes were taken by women – and many look to birth control as the driver for this socio-economic shift.

Fast forward to 2002, and the contraceptive patch continues in the pill’s stead. Easy to administer and difficult to forget to take, it enables hormones to pass through the skin and into the bloodstream, giving women control over their fertility – and freedom to pursue their own path. And with 101,492 female solicitors practising law alongside 94,329 men in 2019, it has brought better gender balance to our own industry.

When Time Magazine awarded the contraceptive patch one of the year’s best inventions.