Katie Ash On Law, Women & Boardrooms

Posted: Sunday March 7 2021

By: Guest Blogger

Katie Ash On Law, Women & Boardrooms

International Women’s Day

If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be to believe in my ability and my worth. For too long, fuelled by how others made me see myself professionally, I lacked the belief that led me to feel I couldn’t move forward in my career. That I couldn’t be a partner (and owner of a business) or that I didn’t want that.

I am now the first female shareholder of Banner Jones to sit on the Management Board and I’m really proud of this achievement, but it has only been possible because I finally learned to understand my worth.

I joined Banner Jones following the birth of my daughter. Maybe empowered by the fact that my priorities had changed and that work wasn’t the main focus for me anymore.  I asked for a flexible role (and a pay rise). They said yes! I worked hard (though maintaining my part time status), was supported throughout, and have successfully developed my Employment Law team. When discussions started about becoming an owner in the business, I explained that I still wanted to work flexibly so that I could keep the balance of being a mum and a lawyer and thankfully this wasn’t a problem.

Women have been allowed to qualify as solicitors and barristers for just over 100 years. Today, women make up over half of the profession, and over 60 per cent of new entrants, yet less than a third make it to partnership level. It is tough, especially when you start a family. I have friends who left the profession or took a demoted role to achieve the flexibility that they needed to be able to continue working. I am fortunate this wasn’t the case for me.

Whilst I am the first female shareholder to sit on our Management Board, I won’t be the last, and I hope that my steps in becoming the first, make it easier for those women who follow behind me.

I strive every day to ensure that the women and men in our business know their value and their worth, and that my daughter knows that her value helped me see mine.

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