Lawyer Monthly - Women In Law Awards 2023

53 Equally, as a woman in a leadership role, have you experienced unique challenges or advantages? How have these experiences informed your approach to leadership? The advantage of being in a leadership role is simple – I have had plenty of opportunities to mentor and develop female colleagues. It has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career to see those careers develop and those colleagues achieve their personal goals. There are more women in leadership positions within the firm, and I have been able to play a vital role in developing various policies which enable women to feel comfortable in taking those positions. For example, supporting family leave, a significant increase in agile working and the development of mentoring programmes to help with career development. Can you describe your leadership style at Foot Anstey? Do you feel that being a woman has influenced this style, and if so, how? I pride myself on having a consultative style of leadership. I work in collaboration with Partners and senior lawyers within multiple teams that I lead. Part of my role is ensuring I am supporting them and giving them access to the right tools to successfully advise and act on behalf of clients for the firm. How do you think the profession can better support the advancement and retention of women in law? Role models play an important part in retaining women in both private practice and in-house. In recent years we have seen an increase in women in the Partnership, as well as Trainees and newly qualified Solicitors. It is about ensuring that these female lawyers see women at all levels succeeding and having a successful career. When my youngest child was born, I worked part-time for four years to balance family life and being a Partner at the firm. This was something the firm was very supportive of. It’s important for other women to see that there are options available so that you don’t have to put your career on hold if your personal circumstances change. You have developed your firm’s employment law practice. How have you promoted diversity and inclusion within your teams, particularly with regard to gender balance? I am fortunate to work with a team of talented lawyers - a fair few have qualified with the firm and stayed to further progress their careers. But we also attract great lateral talent from other firms. The agile approach to work at Foot Anstey has helped retain a lot of our lawyers. For example, in my team, during the pandemic, many of the team had school-aged children at home, which meant we worked out a system to support each other with the balance of home schooling and supporting clients during a turbulent time for HR professionals. Most of my team are female, and by working in unison, we have been able to bolster each other’s career development. In recent years as a Board member I have been delighted to see ever increasing numbers of female lawyers being recruited to or promoted within the Partnership across a wide number of areas within the Firm. Finally, what advice would you give to young female professionals just beginning their careers in law? To be curious about your clients’ business ambitions and strategies – take the time to understand their aims and objectives. In the field of employment law, clients will always appreciate a deep understanding of their business. This applies whether you are a junior lawyer or Partner. About Foot Anstey Foot Anstey is one of the UK’s fastest growing law firms. Over our history we’ve grown to become a significant national player working with leading brands and individuals predominantly across six key sectors: Developer, Energy & Infrastructure, Islamic Finance, Private Equity, Private Wealth, Retail & Consumer. We care about contributing to the communities where we live, and work and the Foot Anstey Foundation provides grants to local grassroots organisations. United Kingdom

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