A strong female role model can shape your career. by Kate MacKenzie, Assistant Company Secretary, LTE group

Having a strong female role model can make a real difference in your outlook on gender equality – and how you respond to it.

Statistics show that although junior positions in the legal profession are split roughly equally between male and female, senior positions are still overwhelmingly dominated by one demographic – white, upper-class men, predominantly public school and Oxbridge educated. 

A barrier you would imagine to a woman looking to build a career in the profession? Not in my opinion or experience. Having working in the legal profession for a significant proportion of my professional life, I have never really seen being female as a barrier to achieving. I was taught by very successful female lecturers and I have been very lucky in joining organisations that have been female orientated. 

Having strong female role models from the start of my career was a very important influencing factor for me to develop my career. Without this experience I wonder if I would have had the same encouragement and motivation for success to be where I am today? 

Working as a solicitor in a private practice I drew on my experience and mentored other female trainees. In my current role at LTE group I am embracing a change in career direction in a very forward thinking and progressive organisation and I feel as though I am in a position to influence others to have a career and do what they love and enjoy and add value. 

In 2010, I became a mum and for the first time discovered just how important it is for me to be a female role model in my own right to my daughter. I am passionate about ensuring that she always strives to be the best she can be, with no barriers. The experience has also opened my eyes to the challenges working mums who want to continue to progress in a career can face. 

It is up to strong women to show that women can be both a mum and hold a valuable and valued role in an organisation, and be a success. The importance of a strong female role model in our personal life and work life cannot be underestimated.

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