IWD2020: My Career Journey

My career journey: Reflections and insights from women at Clyde & Co

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Encouraging a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive and respectful environment is a key priority for Clyde & Co. Not only is this crucial to attracting and retaining the best people, but it is also crucial that our workforce reflects the industries, businesses and communities we serve.

The stories demonstrate that there is not just one path to a successful career for men or women, and highlight the importance of mentors and learning from others. They also show that staying true to yourself and enjoying what you do is the most important thing. We hope these stories help inspire the next generation of leaders at the firm, and that they are able to take away some tangible and actionable insights and advice. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute.

Enabling and supporting women to progress is crucial to achieving this. The legal profession continues to suffer from the perception of being a male-dominated industry and despite the fact that there are more women than men entering our profession today, there continues to be a lack of women in senior positions. There are a number of reasons for this. One that is often cited is the lack of female role models at the top for women in more junior positions to look up to, and learn and draw inspiration from. In this e-book, we are trying to help with this by giving some of our senior women a platform on which to share their experiences, give advice and reflect on the secrets to their success.

Peter Hirst Senior Partner, London

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KATELIN O’ROURKE GORMAN

EMMA AGER

MUN YEOW

SARA KHOJA

CAROLENA GORDON

SAPNA JHANGIANI

JUSTINE COWLING

EILEEN KING BOWER

PAULINE CALDWELL

ALENA TITTERTON

DIANNA THIMJON

NATALIE GRIFFIN

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LUCINDA LYONS

HEIDI WATSON

LIZ JENKINS

NADIA DARWAZEH

MICHELLE CRORIE

TENDA MSINJILI

EMMA RICE

KAREN BEGG

ANGELA JOHANSSON

TONI ASHBY

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KATELIN O’ROURKE GORMAN PARTNER, NEW YORK

I came to our firm in January 2018 from Sedgwick LLP, along with about 15 other insurance and litigation partners, and several other attorneys and legal professionals. I was excited to start here – the expanded platform, global reach, and resources are terrific. Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? Honestly, no. But that is probably only because I have been lucky, including being in the right place at the right time. And regret can be wasted energy.

Make peace with the past, or make it right, and move forward. What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Generous mentors and sponsors who have included me in their succession planning, or in the expansion of their institutional client business. Partners and colleagues who serve as both substantive law and career sounding boards. And the clients - their loyalty and trust have been perhaps more important than anything.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I focus on insurance coverage issues impacting management liability policies (D&O, EPL, etc.) and represent US and London insurers on those issues. I also enjoy being involved in the firm’s diversity & inclusion and mentoring initiatives (North American Women’s Initiative and GECCO), especially when we partner with our clients.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Probably three pieces of advice: first, bet on yourself; second, be grateful and loyal to those who give you a shot, and try not to let them down; and third, always move forward (which I said above too – it’s a favourite!). Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? I do not want to embarrass anyone, so I will not name names, but to my sponsors and mentors at the firm, both new and old, you have inspired me – thank you.

Always move forward.

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My team, for their positive attitudes and tireless work. And also my husband. He went back to school for his JD at night in his 30s, taught swimming to kids by day to help make ends meet, and graduated from Fordham Law with As. His determination in the face of nay-sayers (“why are you going to school at 32?!”) still impresses me over a decade later. Oh, and Serena Williams. She is just so fierce.

What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Keep fine tuning your legal skills. If the work is not good, folks will not want to work with you, no matter how much they like you. Make time to find mentors and sponsors. And recognise you can market anywhere. You never know when or where you might meet the next potential client.

What do you like to do outside of work? Spend time with Sweet Baby James (my son), my husband Mike, and the rest of the family. Be by the water. Laugh (sometimes too loudly). Soulcycle. And dinner, drinks and life recaps with my best girlfriends. What would you do with a spare hour? Sleep!

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SAPNA JHANGIANI* PARTNER, SINGAPORE

who have encouraged and championed me at every juncture. I have been very blessed indeed. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Two priceless pieces of advice: learn how to type, and wear comfortable shoes! Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? Women lawyers who have reached senior positions in our field – particularly those in leadership positions. They have paved the way for the rest of us!

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I started my career at the Independent Bar in London, but around 14 years ago, I decided I wanted to move abroad, and in those days, there were no barristers’ chambers outside London. A friend at the Bar had been instructed by Clyde & Co’s Dubai office and introduced me to his instructing solicitor, to whom I sent my CV. It was the only job application I made and thankfully, two months later, I had a job offer!

Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? Actually, no. We all make mistakes but I have learnt many valuable lessons along the way! What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Fantastic mentors within the firm, such as partners Ben Knowles and Ik Wei

What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and will encourage you to stretch yourself – it is only by being challenged that we can aim to realise our full potential. What do you like to do outside of work? I like to spend time with my family (usually watching a movie), walk my dog, and practise yoga. What would you do with a spare hour? Go for a walk, and meditate!

Be challenged to realise your full potential.

Chong and Consultant Brian Nash, as well as a

supportive network of peers and mentees comprised of professional women – mainly lawyers –

* Sapna will become a QC on 16 March.

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NATALIE GRIFFIN CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, MANCHESTER

leaders in every business I have worked in and worked out pretty quickly that no one is perfect in a leadership position; every leader needs to constantly develop and refine their skills. It is inspiring when you realise you will never be the finished product and there will always be new challenges. What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Be a bit selfish for a change and concentrate on your own career goals. “If you do not ask, you do not get”, as they say. Do not underestimate how many people will be

willing to give you their time and support if you ask. What do you like to do outside of work? Travel the world and explore new places with the people I love. What would you do with a spare hour? Everyone can have a spare hour if they want one and I will always make time for my family when I can. I prefer to think of a magic hour where I would be transported to a rooftop bar in the sunshine with all my favourite people and laugh until it hurts.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. My role is Chief Operating Officer (COO) for our UK insurance practice. I am a qualified accountant and worked in various finance roles before becoming COO at DWF LLP and moving to Clyde & Co two years ago. Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? Not been so hard on myself at various points of my career. My go to measure of personal worth was hours on the clock and turning the lights off.

What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Leadership development training, coaching and mentoring, and receiving 360 feedback. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Lighten up. It is important to develop relationships and not only focus on delivery in isolation. Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? Those that have given me their time and support. I have always studied the

Concentrate on your own career goals.

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SARA KHOJA PARTNER, DUBAI

later to Saudi Arabia when she married my father at 30. She had to adapt to a very different culture and became fluent in Arabic. She also taught me to enjoy art, ballet, opera and theatre without worrying about appearing pretentious or not knowing enough about those things to enjoy them! What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Accept that lots of things can be important but they will fall into a different order of priorities from day to day – do not beat yourself up about it.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I am a partner in the MEA employment group and also a member of the MEA regional board. I joined Clyde & Co in 2008 as an associate in the Dubai office, was promoted to the partnership in May 2012, became a senior partner in May 2016 and joined the regional board in February 2019.

Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? I would have studied anthropology and gone into international development work with NGOs or non- profits. What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Learning how to network within the firm, learning how to ask for help and guidance, and keeping my working life interesting by volunteering to take on and get involved with new projects.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Failure is a part of success. Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? My mother has always been a huge inspiration to me, making me realise that it is never too late to try new things and do the things you have always wanted to do. She learnt to drive when she was over 40, went back to university and moved her whole life across countries and cultures more than once in her life, moving to the UK when she was 19 and then

Give yourself a break.

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I would also recommend networking widely, finding a sponsor and a mentor, enjoying your work and taking your time – give yourself a break! What do you like to do outside of work? I have a six year old daughter so I try to spend as much time as I can with her which often involves a lot of arts and crafts, which I am trying to get better at! I am also a Netflix addict.

What would you do with a spare hour? It would be a conflict between sleeping and reading a historical biography.

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JUSTINE COWLING

on my team and meeting with senior leaders across the firm so that I can better understand its culture and values. I will be leading the GC office more as an executive function, supporting all related activities from a legal and regulatory perspective and ensuring good governance. I am also focussing on embedding enterprise risk management within the firm, starting with our strategic risks. It is a great time to have joined and I am excited about the

opportunities the future holds – understanding and managing our risks well will mean we are in an even better position to leverage off those opportunities. Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? I do not really worry about things in the past – I prefer to focus on the future. But if I could have, I probably would have engaged with a maternity coach sooner than I did. I was adamant that nothing was going to change

workwise after my first child, but of course life does become harder – and more rewarding – and by the time I had the opportunity to have a maternity coach (Jo Lyons at Talking Talent), I had learnt by my own mistakes. I still recall so many of her nuggets of advice. What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Not being afraid of taking risks and facing new challenges, even if that has meant leaving a place that

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I am Clyde & Co’s first female general counsel (GC) – which sounds grander than saying I am the second GC the firm has had. I remember the headhunter saying “if you want to put yourself forward, they need your CV tomorrow”, and the rest is history (perhaps I work better under pressure). I have been at the firm for a couple of months now, and have been focussing

GENERAL COUNSEL, LONDON

Don’t think hierarchically.

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was comfortable. And having a partner who is supportive of my being a working mum, knowing that is how I will feel most fulfilled. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? To enjoy my role and remember that the more you put into something, the more you will get out of it; and if you put yourself forward, you will get opportunities. Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? Other than the lawyers in LA Law or Ally McBeal (yes, I am that old!) a few really stand

out, both men and women. And what I note is that they are all genuinely nice people, often from pretty ordinary backgrounds like my own, who have worked hard and are driven. But for all the charismatic people I am inspired by, no one can beat my husband and family for keeping me well grounded. What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Find a good mentor who can give you objective coaching and advice. Do not think hierarchically – law firms are full of hierarchy so do not be afraid to think laterally,

whilst also being mindful of others. And keep making time to catch up with people both inside and outside of the workplace – it is important. What do you like to do outside of work? I have recently obtained my FA Coaching badge, having played football since a young age in both mixed and all female teams. So I now enjoy inspiring more girls to start playing football (as well as being a taxi driver for my two children – which has improved now that I have come across audible).

What would you do with a spare hour? Either a yoga or pilates class, or, if an unplanned hour, just relax with a good book. I have just finished Circe and am now on to The Silence of the Girls – both excellent.

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ALENA TITTERTON PARTNER, SYDNEY

I am going to answer the flip question here too! What would I not change in my approach to my career? I have always been myself at work, and have not spent time trying to fit a mould of what a lawyer was expected to be. I actively resisted any suggestions to change or modify who I was at my core to succeed. People really respond to authenticity, and they know when someone is not genuine. Your perspective, your differences, may be exactly what is needed for solutions in the workplace.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I am a partner in the regulatory and investigations practice where I focus on health, safety and security matters. I was a partner at my previous firm and our health and safety team joined Clyde & Co’s Sydney office in 2016. I am also currently partner champion for the diversity & inclusion strategic committee for the Australian offices.

Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? In retrospect, I would have liked to have taken a gap year prior to commencing my career, or perhaps at the end of my graduate program. I always wanted to travel in difficult parts of the world and do some freelance writing over an extended period of time, but was always in such a rush to progress!

What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Caring about the business as if it was my business long before I became a partner. Having empathy is also important for the type of business we are in. It has been a really critical part of my relationships with clients and colleagues. Identifying strong role models and learning from them, and being open to their advice and mentoring, even when they were telling me things I did not want to hear.

Be curious as a lifelong learner.

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And finally, connecting with my team members and caring about them in the same way I care about family. No one gets anywhere alone. You need a strong team culture and people who want to be on the journey with you to build a truly successful practice. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? “Never underestimate the power of doing stuff” (they may have used a different word). If you work harder than everyone else, it is bound to be an advantage.

Jodie Fox, a dear friend and an ex-lawyer who became the founder of a pioneering global online business, Shoes of Prey, always says “do everything before you’re ready”. Because there’s never a moment you’re really ready. You just have to get moving. Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? I met Clyde & Co Partner Michael Tooma when I was 22 years old, and have been learning from his example for 14 years now. I was so fortunate to find in Michael

a truly exceptional role model who would become both my chief mentor and the chief sponsor of my career. When I started out, Michael had written all the books there were on the topic of health and safety, and I wondered what it would be like to work for someone who was the best there was at something. I caught the safety bug and the passion for making the world a safer place. And it was the making of my career. A person who inspires me right now is Sapna Jhangiani, a partner in our Singapore

office. She is an exceptional human, a great mentor and a brilliant lawyer and advocate who is being appointed QC this year. I am so proud to call Sapna a fellow partner. What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Ask yourself what you want your life to look like five and ten years from now. Revisit and reflect on that frequently. Make your career part of that planning rather than isolating career planning from the rest of your life.

Build your expertise, your networks, your profile and your practice. In building your expertise, be curious. Be a life-long learner. Invest in yourself. Read widely. Having a multi- disciplinary approach in your reading and thinking can help you unlock niche areas and give you a perspective that can create an edge. In building your networks, focus on peers at your level in client organisations, not just the current client leadership. Eventually, the

peers at your level will be the leaders of those organisations.

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In building your profile, be open to speaking to the press, and have interesting takes on the matters of the day of relevance to your practice. In building your practice, find colleagues internally in other practice areas with whom you can collaborate, particularly in securing work. In doing this, support other women. Be a mentor and champion of other women. Understand the promotion criteria for your next step. Work at tangibly demonstrating how you have met each of those criteria, and specifically ask mentors

and champions to assist you and guide you in the areas that are not yet strengths. Do not just get mentors, but make sure there are people championing you as sponsors of your career. Also, don’t stick with getting mentors who are lawyers. Get champions in the business community from which you want referrals. When it comes to law as a business, find ways of breaking the business model. We simply must unshackle ourselves from the billable hour. Think about what products your clients need to solve the problems they

have. We need to innovate and create passive revenue streams. Your success will always have a cap when the amount of money you can generate is tied to your time. I believe the billable hour is the greatest single impediment to gender equality in law firms. Do not play by the rules of the business model. Break them. Finally, be kind. To yourself and others. And if you ever want a career chat, please feel free to pick up the phone or drop me a line.

the original lyrics. Because writing the nerdiest lyrics of all time is my idea of a good spare time. What would you do with a spare hour? Write another song.

What do you like to do outside of work? I am a singer-songwriter who writes piano powered pop music, music theatre and cabaret. I am working on a full length musical about the life of a forgotten heroine of Australian politics, May Holman. I am also currently in negotiations with Sony Music for the rights to use the melody of Meghan Trainor’s song ‘All About That Bass’ with my newly written lyrics that outline a legally compliant workplace health and safety risk management process whilst rhyming with

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elsewhere and interviewed at both Clyde & Co and Barlow, Lyde & Gilbert for NQ positions. I took a position at Clyde & Co – the lure of working on Bermuda Form cases – and the rest is history. Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? In terms of this career, I do not think there is anything I would have done differently. I very much enjoy the work I do and have done over the last 18 years.

to work on and improve. The support of my peers

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I have been a partner at Clyde & Co since 2016. I joined Clyde & Co upon qualification from Richards Butler as it then was. I ended up in law accidentally having essentially chosen a degree subject at university that I knew very little about but thought would be interesting. That led to a training contract at Richards Butler and when there were no jobs available in litigation on qualification, I looked

What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? From my perspective, I think that having a mentor or role model has been one of the most valuable and helpful things to me in progressing my career. It has been great to have someone to talk to about my career, the work I do and my plans. Someone who has supported me with where I want to go and who has, among many things, given useful feedback to put setbacks into perspective, and also provided points

EMMA AGER PARTNER, LONDON

within Clyde & Co has also had a large part to play in progressing my career. In addition, my clients have been incredibly supportive of my career progression and this has always been helpful as a motivator. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? In my earlier years as a lawyer, I had a strong record of putting down billable hours. The best advice I had was that, although this

Speak up for yourself.

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was important, it is equally important to be out there visible and available for clients and potential clients. Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? There have been a number of individuals who have inspired me throughout my career. It is difficult to pick any one person in particular, but I have had the honour of working alongside Michael Payton for the duration of my time at Clyde & Co. That experience has taught me a great deal both at a technical level and in more ‘people’ skills, including relating to clients (or potential clients) and managing

expectations both internally and externally. What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Speak up for yourself, do not be afraid to blow your own trumpet and ask for what you want! What do you like to do outside of work? Presently my time is taken up running around after two young boys. Christian has just turned 3 years old and is running me ragged, while Jacob is 4 months old and keeping me awake at night and during the day.

When I have time, my favourite hobby is photography – I have always enjoyed photography, particularly travel and animal photography, but capturing every moment of my children’s childhoods! What would you do with a spare hour? Sleep. since having children my focus has shifted to

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EILEEN KING BOWER PARTNER, CHICAGO

attorney’s daily routine. This is something I would encourage more junior lawyers to focus on early in their careers. What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? I had a female mentor who I worked with for many years. She was key in promoting me to partner and encouraged me to take on challenges in my career that I may not have taken on without her encouragement. It is very important to find someone who will support and promote you within the organisation. I am also a big

fan of career coaching. I have found it very helpful to have someone objectively assist me in pursuing my goals. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Building a lasting career is a marathon, not a sprint. Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? Becky Ross was a senior partner when I started working with her at my former firm. She was a role model and huge supporter and promoter of me at the firm.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I manage the Chicago office, serve on the North American board and chair the Insurance Strategy Group in North America. I joined the firm in January 2017 when Clint Cameron (also a partner in Chicago) and I opened the Chicago office. We had been practicing with a US-based law firm and were drawn to Clyde & Co due to its focus on the insurance industry. We have an insurance client base and found Clyde & Co to be a great fit.

Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? Yes. I would have focused on business development earlier in my career. For many years, I had the advantage of obtaining work from one or two main clients and did not need to develop business from multiple sources. Due to management and other changes in my initial client base, I have had to develop work from multiple sources in recent years. Building a diverse client base takes many years, is challenging and time consuming and needs to be part of an

Be true to yourself while

you pursue your career.

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that are important in your life to advance your career. There are clearly ways to succeed without doing so. What do you like to do outside of work? My husband and I have three grown children and a large extended family, so I spend free time with them. I am a distance runner and pilates enthusiast – my exercise regime keeps me somewhat sane! What would you do with a spare hour? Sleep!

What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? It is very important to establish a strong connection with those who are more senior to you in the firm so that you can get sound advice on what it takes to advance in the institution. You need to have a promoter and supporter in that regard. I would also advise that you need to be true to yourself while you pursue your career. Try to understand why you want to advance and do not allow yourself to compromise your ethics or other things

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PAULINE CALDWELL HR DIRECTOR, LONDON

soon found my feet and the rest as they say is history! Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? On reflection, I would have liked to have more confidence in my abilities at times. I have fallen into the trap of lacking self- confidence at points in my career, which has meant that I did not take opportunities that I felt I was not ready for. Had I just been more confident, I can see now that my ability to learn, adapt, build relationships and

influence people would have meant I would have been successful in any event. What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? A good mentor and sponsor. I have been fortunate in that my bosses have always seen my potential and talked to me about it. My nature is to seek out feedback and I have often asked my bosses to give me constructive feedback. I always reacted positively to it as I saw it as them helping me achieve my career aspirations, and therefore it

made for a very easy working relationship. I believe that really helped me thrive. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? When I listed out my pros and cons for a role once, my boss just pointed at the that I was in at the time and said “if you have that, that and that, what more do you need? You know you can do this”. It made me realise I had the key skills for the job – the rest I could develop. I took a leap of faith and that three things he thought were needed for the role

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I joined Clyde & Co as Head of HR UK as part of the BLG merger in 2011. I am now the HR Director for the firm and have undertaken this role since August 2015. I have been really fortunate in being proactively encouraged to progress my career at Clyde & Co by our previous HR Director and CEO. They saw potential in me and supported me in my development to take on a global role. Although daunting and scary at first, I

Be clear on what you are good at and what energises you.

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is why I am doing the job I am now. I also gave myself a good talking for being stereotypically negative about my skills! Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? My first HR Director was an engineer by background. His thought processes were very different to mine, and we were also in very different age demographics. This did not matter as it led to excellent debates and challenges and he taught me how to be a better HR professional. He sadly died while we were still working

together, but I just loved his energy, enthusiasm and passion for life, and his work supporting his community and developing others. As he said to me when he hired me “I did try to hire a man, darling, as we need more men in this team, but you were just too good”. Not politically correct at all, but that did not get in the way of our working and personal relationship. What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Be clear on what you are good at and what energises you. Do not be afraid

to challenge the status quo, be brave and ask for feedback and for access to opportunities you believe will advance your career. Do not take no for an answer and do not be afraid of demonstrating your talents and shouting about them. Be bold. What do you like to do outside of work? I love yoga and personal training. We all have such busy and stressful lives and I find doing these activities helps my mental health. There are obviously physical benefits of doing this but for me it is more

about managing my general wellbeing. Monday night yoga sets me up for the week. I also love getting a dose of my nieces and nephews. My three year old niece is the youngest, and I just feel so good after spending time playing with her. What would you do with a spare hour? Yoga!

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MUN YEOW

Around that time, my two daughters had started university and I felt I had capacity to contribute more. Motivated by the women candidates I had interviewed, I wanted to do more to drive diversity in the firm’s leadership. What better way to do this than put my own hand up for the global board? So I ran in the election and got elected.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I was the first woman elected to the global board, and of course the first Asianwoman too. It started with me sitting on the partner selection committee (PSC). I saw some very impressive women candidates coming before the PSC and heard, during interviews, how hard they worked to juggle their career and young children at home. I found what I heard very admirable!

Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? I would have taken time off when my children were growing up. At the time, there was no support for women to take time off before returning to work, and I was not prepared to give up my career altogether. So I carried on. Luckily, I was there to see my eldest daughter take her first steps!

What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Seizing opportunities, as and when they arise, has been and continues to be very important to my career growth in Asia’s economy opens up opportunities. The opportunity to run in the election to the global board also added a layer to my career. progression. Our global footprint as well as the

PARTNER, BEIJING / HONG KONG

Build a relationship with someone more experienced and seek guidance.

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What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Seek out a mentor. The career path can be lonely and hard without a mentor. Build a relationship with someone who is more experienced and seek guidance from him or her. What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Perseverance is what we need to advance our careers. Do not stop until you get what you want.

What do you like to do outside of work? Outdoor activities like hiking and playing golf, and travelling. What would you do with a spare hour? I would like to read, except that increasingly I find myself watching YouTube on my iPhone. That is not good!

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CAROLENA GORDON PARTNER, MONTRÉAL

my role as a member of the Canadian board. Following our governance review, four regions and regional board chairs were created and I joined the North American board after completing my two years on the global board. In the summer of 2019 I became the regional board chair. We have a gender balanced board and we are very proud of that. It is a very exciting time for North America as our business is changing and modernising rapidly.

Diversity and inclusion are at the top of our agenda and we continue to encourage women to get involved. What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Two things helped me to progress: opportunity and support. Clients provided me with the opportunity to do interesting work that challenged me and made me work harder. These opportunities were great learning experiences that made it possible for me to

master the skills I needed to practice law. Many clients became mentors and helped me deepenmy skills. The support I received enabledme to quickly progress throughmy learning curve and inspiredme to believe inmyself.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. My role at Clyde & Co is regional board chair for the Americas. In late 2015, I was asked by our Senior Partner to join the global board. At the time, I was the only woman on the global board. It was a very interesting opportunity that provided me with a financial and business education that I use every day. I learned a great deal and brought what I learned back to Canada and

Identify what interests you have and get involved.

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Challenge yourself to simply do. At various points in my career, I took on responsibilities and roles that I was only partly ready for. I asked for help and advice and worked hard to develop the skills I needed. Everyone around me was generous with their time, and their advice and feedback provided me with the support I needed. So don’t hesitate, get involved!

What is the best piece of advice that you have been given?

Keep moving forward! What this continues to mean to me is no matter what adversity you face or challenges you meet along the way, have faith in your decisions and your instincts and stay the course. What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Jump in! Identify what interests you and get involved. Do not overthink it! Try things.

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DIANNA THIMJON CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER, KANSAS CITY

In November, I was named as CIO and began a transformation programme of that capability. Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? I started in the military intelligence branch of the army for five years, then transitioned into corporate America, beginning at global company Hallmark Cards. I had a number of roles across sales, marketing and operations before embarking on a more technology-centric

My previous experience of working in roles where I was the customer of IT helped shape my understanding of the urgency and demand that technology must accommodate. I hope it has made me more empathetic. In addition, since I was 18 years old I have had the privilege of leading over 30 different teams varying from senior individual contributors to directors and now global heads. Each opportunity helped me to grow as a leader – something I have never taken for granted as I consider leadership a privilege.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I transitioned to Clyde & Co when a number of parts of Sedgwick joined Clyde & Co. I initially took on an interim head of shared services role, looking to help on-board the Kansas City shared service centre into the firm. In May of that year, I was asked to complete a global assessment of the IT function and put together a perspective to share with the global board which I did in the autumn.

Make the choice and take the chance.

set of roles and finally moving formally into IT.

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I also had the privilege of working for a great female COO at my previous firm, and a wonderful senior partner and executive committee. I have also worked for many great military leaders whose selfless service inspires me to this day to continuously evaluate if I am being the best leader for my team. Finally, I am always inspired by my teams. Their optimistic approach to our work inspires me to try to be a better leader and have a similar level of commitment in my own work.

Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? I worked for a senior VP in sales who was a ground- breaker for women in leadership roles at Hallmark, a company with 30,000 employees. She was strong, thoughtful and dynamic and the hardest person I ever worked for, as her standards were incredibly high, yet, she also taught me the most. Looking back, her guidance inspired me in every way to grow my career and to take on even harder challenges.

What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? I have had the benefit of working for many great leaders and being a part of many diverse teams. I have also worked across five different industries, which has helped me realise that most of the problems companies face are the same – only the product is different. This helped me identify a core set of tools and skills that I have tried to harness and improve. Mentors along the way have helped me grow and see my career as a continuously learning opportunity.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given? To not allow fear of failure to shape the way you lead. Leadership requires courage and taking risks, and creating an environment where failure, when it happens, can be managed in such a way that your team can continue to move forward. I have taken on many roles that scared me, as I was not sure I was ready for them, and yet some of my greatest learnings and experiences came from just those opportunities.

What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Talent matters but experience trumps all. Take the hard job and be prepared to fail and learn as you grow to gain critical experience. In each instance, some piece of good

experience is built that you will use throughout your career.

I also had a great mentor who once said “decide nothing or decide something – in either case, the outcome is entirely yours to own”.

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She was referring to how many people are so afraid to decide on a particular direction for their career, that the inactivity ultimately decides their future. So, faced with the choice to do something or do nothing, make the choice to take the chance, take the job, give that presentation. The point is to do something and grow in the process.

What do you like to do outside of work? In a perfect world, I would be a writer full-time and do that whenever possible. My twin sons are 18 and about to go off to college but I have had many adventures traveling with them and exploring parts of the world – something I plan to continue no matter how old they get!

What would you do with a spare hour? Speak with my team! I have listening tour meetings where I meet with 8-10 employees at a time across my full IT team and just ask how things are going. Their answers are always inspiring and challenging and I learn from each opportunity.

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LIZ JENKINS PARTNER, LONDON

He was all about measuring outputs, not whether I was sitting in the office. Plus having a husband who has been supportive and encouraging and who recognised that my being at home was not necessarily going to be good for either of us, nor our children! What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Stop feeling guilty. You are doing the best you can, juggling a career and family, and it is going to be fine.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I am a partner in the firm’s projects & construction group. I currently sit on the global board and the UK board, and am also a member of the real estate and projects & construction executive. I joined Clyde & Co 10 years ago when Shadbolts, which was a niche projects & construction firm of which I was a founding partner, merged with Clyde & Co.

Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? I would have worked part time more when my children were younger if I could. But then, if I had done that, I do not know if I could have pursued my career in the way I wanted. What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Working with Dick Shadbolt who trusted me, gave me confidence and the autonomy to manage my own time.

Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? The leading profile and construction ability of Ann Minogue at McKenna’s, with whom I worked as a junior lawyer. And the business development and client relationship skills of Dick Shadbolt as we were building Shadbolt & Co from scratch.

Do what’s right for you.

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What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Keep going. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not compare yourself to others, but do what is right for you. Look for mentors and supporters at a senior level and ask for guidance and input.

What do you like to do outside of work? Spend time with my family and friends, and make time to run, cycle, swim and do yoga. What would you do with a spare hour? Any of the answers to the previous question, or I would happily switch off by reading a good book.

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TENDA MSINJILI PARTNER, DAR ES SALAAM

internship at Clyde & Co, which I got. I then took a year off to attend the Law School of Tanzania and was awarded a postgraduate diploma in legal practice, becoming an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania. I continued working at Clyde & Co as an associate, senior associate and was promoted to partner last year. Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? No, because my experiences throughout this journey have made me who I am today and will last a lifetime. I have no regrets.

What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? A supporting family and the great mentors that I have had at Clyde & Co. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? It is important to stick to the goals that you have set for yourself, regardless of how far away they seem. What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Speak up for yourself, do not be afraid to blow your own trumpet and ask for what you want!

Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? My mother. She is the strongest woman I know. At the age of 70, after years of being in retirement, she decided to go back to work. She is always trying to change the world in her own way. I hope that I can be half the woman that she is at her age. She has been a great support.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I manage the firm’s debt finance and regulatory department. I also manage its internship scheme – a role that is important to me as I started my journey at Clyde & Co as an intern myself. After completing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Alberta in Canada and a senior status degree at the University of Hull in the UK, and after 9 years of living and working abroad, I decided to move back to Tanzania. I started looking for opportunities at law firms and applied for an

Stick to the goals that you have set for yourself.

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What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Trust in yourself and it may just be possible to break that glass ceiling. What do you like to do outside of work? Spend time with family.

What would you do with a spare hour? I enjoy mentoring young lawyers. I would sit down with one of my interns and have a chat about their career aspirations.

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TONI ASHBY PARTNER, EDINBURGH

has been highly rewarding in terms of fundraising for various charities, and facilitating office massages, yoga classes, inclusion seminars and social events for our staff and partners. Is there anything you would have done differently in your career? There is nothing I would change about the way my career has developed. I had my kids early, when I was 25 and 27, and have always had supportive bosses and partners who supported my

progression. I made partner at Simpson & Marwick aged 36, and the subsequent merger with Clyde & Co has been great for our team, both in terms of the new partners we gained, and the support that the global firm gives us to service our clients and facilitate the winning of new business. What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? Working with and learning

my field, and being given flexibility in terms of working patterns while also being trusted to get the job done in my own way have been invaluable in getting me where I am today. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? The best advice I have been given at work is probably to resist responding immediately, and to cool down before responding, when things become busy and the tendency is to rush.

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I am a casualty – disease partner in Edinburgh, and was previously a partner at Simpson & Marwick. I specialise in disease litigation and am fortunate enough to work for most of the main legacy insurers and re-insurers in the market. Prior to 2008, I worked on the claimant side at Thompsons. Over the last year I have taken on the role of corporate responsibility & inclusion partner in Scotland, which

Being trusted to deliver.

from the best and most experienced lawyers in

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If you do this and make yourself indispensable as part of a winning team, you have much more chance of succeeding than if you try to do everything yourself. What do you like to do outside of work? I love family time with my husband and boys, mountain biking, snowboarding, swimming, yoga, Netflix, reading and with or after

Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? I have been inspired by the dignity and poise of successful female lawyers such as Baroness Kennedy and Lady Smith. What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Find a mentor and be a team player. Gain the trust of a superior who will spur you on, give you guidance, and fight your corner.

What would you do with a spare hour? Yoga, or read a good book, depending on how much energy I have. The last book I read was Three Women by Lisa Taddeo – essential reading for all, I would say.

all of those, and most importantly, fine wine.

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I believe that joining from a young age gave me an advantage in that it helped me understand that to be a successful lawyer you need to prioritise building relationships with clients. I am very lucky to have met some clients from a young age who have progressed their careers to now hold senior roles at major clients. In a sense, we have grown up together, seen changes in the industry and maintained friendships spanning over 20 years. It makes winning business with these clients much easier, as you have already built trust and relationships.

with clients, if you have built a relationship that allows you to understand what is important to them, it will place you in good stead for many years to come. You should not underestimate how hard you have to work to do this, but it is definitely worth the investment early in your career. What do you like to do outside of work? I am passionate about tennis – watching and playing. In fact, I am at the Australian Open in Melbourne as I am writing this, hoping to see one of the Australians make us proud!

Tell us about your role at Clyde & Co and how you got here. I am a partner in the Sydney office, specialising in insurance. I joined Clyde & Co four years ago, as a result of a merger with a firm I had established (Lee & Lyons). As part of our merger in Sydney, five partners and 24 lawyers from my legacy firm joined Clyde & Co. What things have been most helpful to you in progressing your career? I started working in a law firm at age 18, while studying at night.

Which individuals have inspired you throughout your career? My father – he was a lawyer with his own law firm and had the highest standards of integrity and honesty – and hard work! What advice would you give to women currently looking to advance their career? Work hard and invest time in building relationships at every level. No matter what role you might hold at Clyde & Co, you should invest time in getting to know your clients, your colleagues and your competitors. Particularly

LUCINDA LYONS PARTNER, SYDNEY

Invest in time getting to know your clients.

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