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Trowers Includes celebrates International Women’s Day

Trowers Includes celebrates International Women’s Day

The 8th March is International Women's Day. It's a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This celebration is particularly significant this year as we mark the 100th year since the first women were given the right to vote and around the world industries are challenging views on accepted behaviour to push for change and increase diversity in the workplace.

Trowers is joining in the celebrations by asking some of the great women that work across our UK and International offices about their lives and careers. Here is a montage of some of their answers:

Lucy James, Partner

What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your career?

At times, a lack of self-belief (which might sound odd coming from a dyed in the wool litigator).

Deborah Howard, Senior Associate

What do you most like about your job?

Without a doubt it's the people.  What attracted me to Trowers was its welcoming, friendly and supportive environment.  Like everyone, I've had ups and downs in my personal and professional life but there's not been a day when I've not wanted to be there.  It's a real pleasure to be there.

Ayda Habboush, Senior Associate

What do you think are two of the biggest challenges women face in the work place   and how do you think these can be addressed?

As a woman from an ethnic background, I think progression is a huge challenge. Although the message of equality in business is one we have been hearing for years, I don't think we are where we should be by now in terms of accepting women, particularly ethnic women in senior positions. Before the problem can be addressed, it needs to be recognised and I don't think has been yet.

Women have had the vote in the UK for 100 years this year.  If you were Prime Minister for a day name the one thing you would change and explain why?

Eradicate the tampon tax and make it mandatory for boards of significant companies to have equal representation of women.

Abigail Sowden, Solicitor

Women have had the vote in the UK for 100 years this year.  If you were Prime Minister for a day name the one thing you would change and explain why?

Abolish tuition fees. Education is right not a privilege and should be freely available to all those who wish to pursue it.

Jehan Selim, Office Manager UAE

What do you most like about your job?

I think the most rewarding part of my job is completing tasks that I know will make someone else’s day just a little bit easier. Being someone who is willing to help whether the request falls under my job description or not, is the type of employee I am proud to be and always strive to be. Just be kind to everyone! When you work in an environment where everyone gets along and is thoughtful, patient and understanding you will find going to work is not a chore.

What do you think are two of the biggest challenges women face in the work place and how do you think these can be addressed?

Sexual Harassment: Some women rightly have the courage to voice their difficulties but we must encourage all women, especially those who are in fear or are naïve to fight back against these shameful attitudes.

Cheryl Cairns, Partner

What does a typical working day look like for you?

No two days are ever the same.  Typically my role involves meeting or speaking with clients about their matters which are complex infrastructure projects across the Middle East.  Depending on the current construction cycle the work may involve drafting forms of construction contracts and consultancy agreements, providing contract advisory services or dealing with all aspects of a dispute.   I also need to spend a lot of time considering where we will get our next mandate from, preparing for speaker slots in conferences and client training, meetings with various Chambers, intermediaries and experts in engineering, quantum and delay as well as traveling to our other offices across the Gulf.

What do you think are two of the biggest challenges women face in the work place and how do you think these can be addressed?

Based on my experience in the Middle East, the biggest challenge that I consider women have to face (and which I have faced)  is that a woman does not have the automatic presumption of competence.  I have simply addressed this by demonstrating that, regardless of gender, with almost eleven years of construction disputes experience in the Middle East I am the best lawyer for the mandate.

Farah Chaudry, Solicitor

What do you most like about your job?

I like the fact that my work is very tangible and technical and requires me to balance protecting my client's interests when they are aiming to achieve the same goal as their opponents. I am doing an increasing amount of work in Birmingham which I find immensely rewarding as I am incredibly proud of this vibrant, thriving city and proud to contributing towards the changing face of Birmingham. I also relish the intellectual challenge that comes with my work, which keeps me on my toes and out of trouble (most of the time!)

Kate McDermott, National Secretarial Services Manager

If you did not have your current job what would your alternative job have been?

A dog trainer.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your career?

People not believing in my ability because of my age.

What do you think are two of the biggest challenges women face in the work place and how do you think these can be addressed?

Being taken seriously in a notoriously male environment and being held back in case you decide to become a mother or want to work flexibly.

Empowering yourself (and those around you) to speak up and be counted. Your gender does not disqualify you from having a valid opinion or reasonable ideas. Choosing to work where you are recognised for your ability regardless of your gender. Identifying what values and ethos are important to you and working somewhere that resonates with this.