52 www.lawyer-monthly.com As a female lawyer, what are some unique challenges you’ve faced in the industry, and how have you navigated them? Challenges for female lawyers can vary from firm to firm. I would say that one challenge I have witnessed is that exceptional leadership skills in managing people can be undervalued when compared to other leadership traits. To mitigate this, I recommend coaching to female colleagues to help them articulate their management skills and showcase their value. In the past, I found executive coaching invaluable in giving me space to define areas I wanted to focus on in my career. Could you begin by sharing your journey into the legal profession and how your experiences have shaped your current role? I have been at Foot Anstey since I was a newly qualified lawyer in 2005, which means I have been fortunate enough to be at the same firm for much of my career. I became a Partner at the firm in 2011 and, following that was elected to the Management Board in 2014. During my time at the firm, I have seen it grow and develop into what it is now. It has been a privilege to be part of the management team which fosters the ambitious growth goals for the firm. This experience, paired with the various trustee positions I have held externally, has enabled me to deliver well-rounded advice to senior leaders on employment law issues and shaped my role as Head of Employment. Karen Bates ‘Foot Anstey. Powering Your Ambition’ www.footanstey.com Partner, Head of Employment Foot Anstey, LLP Employment and Labour Law Lawyer of the Year Our conversation with Karen Bates, a distinguished member of the Foot Anstey firm, offers a front-row seat to her inspiring journey, spanning from her initial days as a fledgling lawyer to her current esteemed position as the Head of Employment. Her narrative delves into the myriad ways she’s navigated the dual responsibilities of leadership within the firm and advocating for women in the legal sector. With a tenure that has witnessed substantial growth, both personally and for Foot Anstey, Bates shares with us her experiences, challenges, leadership ethos, and her perspective on the future of women in the realm of law.