Celebrating Women in Leadership
Women in leadership

Celebrating Women in Leadership

With Mothers’ Day and International Women’s Day, March has been a big celebration for the hardworking women in our lives, whether they are our own mothers or strong successful women we admire.

7 November 2018
Badenoch & Clark, and the wider Adecco group support these women in many ways, we pride ourselves on supporting the working mothers in our office and supporting our female employees to reach their potential and take leadership roles within the group.

We also offer a lot of support and advice for our candidates and clients, we have recently created a mentorship programme. Our mentorship programme encourages individuals to look at where they need guidance and areas they wish to improve, you can then match yourself with a range of mentors from different sectors and backgrounds who have strengths in these areas. If you are interested in joining out mentor programme, sign up by following this link: https://www.badenochandclark.com/news-and-insights/women-in-leadership-mentoring/mentee. And we are always looking for new mentors to share their wisdom! Sign up here https://www.badenochandclark.com/news-and-insights/women-in-leadership-mentoring/mentor.

We work closely with many inspiring women, one being Emma Bartlett, a partner in law. Here is her advice for success and achieving your goals: “One thing I’ve realised, this week in particular, is that the need for good role models and mentors is key to their own career progression. Without them, there is a loss of direction and confidence. My role model and mentor was a male partner, who encouraged me in my ambition to become a partner and combine it with family life. I have three relatively young children now and was made partner whilst on my third maternity leave, because my male colleagues still believed in me. I was able to see successful male partners, juggling family life without losing the nurturing side of being a parent. I was given flexibility when I needed to be around my growing family, and the tools to ensure I could keep up with my workload and grow my practice. Without any of these, I am sure I would have ducked out of professional life. My advice to junior colleagues will always be to retain their ambition and be open about how that can be achieved. There are many different ways to be a role model; just being yourself is one of them. Our gender committee created a fantastic video of 100 colleagues firm wide (male and female) naming female women who have motivated them, with inspiring quotes, to celebrate International Women’s Day. I hope it has inspired a future generation to follow their goals.”

We don’t only offer mentoring, Badenoch and Clark can support associates by offering to assist in finding roles that suit their personal life, whether that be interim roles, part time or finding roles that will offer the right level of progression or flexibility that suits your career.

Below is interviews with Sonia, a consultant at B&C who benefits from a flexible and supportive working environment to balance her career and motherhood; Shirley, a solicitor who found a position through B&C that allowed her to balance her work and home life; and Nikki Coleman, a director at B&C who has worked her way up from consultant, sharing her words of wisdom for all the ambitious women (and men) out there.

Sonia specialises in placing qualified legal professionals into in-house teams within the retail and consumer sector. She is known for her honest approach and integrity but also for balancing the demands of motherhood with a prosperous career. Here she tells us all about how she manages such a busy schedule?

1. Tell us about your background?

I came from a legal background and like many fell into recruitment, I absolutely love the fast pace environment and reward nature. I work with qualified lawyers, placing them into in-house teams in the retail and consumer sector.

Outside of work I have a 2 year old little boy, Hari.

2. How do you balance work and a child?

I work for a great company who are really flexible and understanding of my role as a mum. I get the opportunity to work from home, flexi-time and ensure I spend my time at work getting anything done so I can switch of at the weekend and have quality time with Hari. I also make sure we have lots planned during our time together!

3. What is the biggest challenge of juggling both?

It’s hard not to feel guilty about not being with my child when I am at work or feeling guilty when I need to dash off for the nursery run. Luckily, I have a supportive team who are always happy to cover meetings etc., if I have to work from home and Hari tells everyone at nursery ‘mummy goes to work to buy me toys’, so he seems very supportive of my job!

4. What is the most rewarding part of your hectic schedule?

The flexibility has allowed me to have a really close bond with Hari whilst still being able to pursue my ambitions and develop my career.

5. Do you have any funny stories about life as a working mum?

I once went to a client meeting with baby sick on me and didn’t realise until the client told me she knew I had a child!

6. What advice do you give other working mums?

It is possible to pursue a career and still be a great mum! You don’t need to make sacrifices just find the right company who will help you achieve your goals.

7. How do you think B&C/ Adecco assist you and what should other working mums look for in an employer?

B&C have been really flexible and accommodating to my needs (and Hari’s). They encourage a work life balance and ensure I have achievable objectives I can complete in work time so it doesn’t conflict with my time with Hari.

Shirley is qualified in both Brazil and the UK with experience as a commercial litigator but after becoming a mum she decided to embrace the flexibility of working on document review projects through Jo Dickson at Badenoch & Clark. She is truly an inspirational and ambitious woman having returned to work when her son was only four months old…

1. Tell us about your background?

I am a dual qualified English and Brazilian lawyer, specialising in commercial litigation and dispute resolution. I have acted for a wide range of companies from various industry sectors particularly in disputes against financial institutions.

2. How do you balance work and a child?

I went back to work when my son was only four-months old. In my experience, working three days a week is perfect as I get to spend quality time with my son when I am at home and then go to work and be part of a team whilst doing the job that I love.

3. What is the biggest challenge of juggling both?

The biggest challenge is not knowing how much sleep I will get during the night. If my son wakes up more than once a night that will inevitably affect my day at work. So, my husband and I take turns when that happens. Also, a big cup of coffee to boost your energy in the morning is a life saver!

4. What is the most rewarding part of your hectic schedule?

The most rewarding part is feeling productive. I feel so proud of myself for being able to manage the household, raise a healthy baby whilst ensuring that I am progressing my career and earning income. It is hectic but worth the effort. The 'can do' attitude is very stimulating.

5. Do you have any funny stories about life as a working mum?

I was working from home one day reviewing files and dictating reports. The dictation turned out to be long and the work had to be split between three secretaries given the urgency. One month later, during the firm's Christmas dinner, I started chatting with a secretary that I had not previously met but suddenly she asked if I had a baby. I thought it was an unusual question to ask at first but said yes, I did. She quickly replied saying that she heard a baby in the background of my dictation and all the secretaries had a laugh about the giggles of my baby. I thought it was very funny as I hadn't realised at the time that his little voice was caught in the background of the dictation. It turns out that despite the pressure for a quick turnaround on the report, the secretaries found the task enjoyable.

6. What advice do you give other working mums?

I think the key is having the support you need and being comfortable with the child care arrangements you have in place. I am very lucky to have an amazing babysitter and my mum to help.

7. How do you think your current employer assists you and what should other working mums look for in an employer?

I was very fortunate to have understanding bosses that appreciate that children get ill, babysitters are late and that I might not be able to make it to that important meeting. I would recommend other working mums being open with their employers and discussing the need of flexibility. In other words, clear communication between the employee and employers will ensure expectations are managed.

Nikki Coleman is an Operational Director at Badenoch &Clark, she started out recruiting interim lawyers into high street and commercial firms and her hard work and ambition has seen her work her way up in the company. She is highly respected in the company and is always happy to share her words of wisdom on success.

1. Tell us about yourself and your career history?

I started my career as a police officer, joining Thames Valley Police in 2001. I spent two years in uniform and then three years on CID. I decided to join Legal recruitment in 2006 and I have never looked back. Initially I worked on an interim desk placing lawyers into high street and commercial law firm, I relocated after 18 months and joined a different firm. Here I specialised in placing lawyers into commerce and industry in the Thames Valley. In 2010 I was offered a chance to return to Badenoch & Clark to set up a legal team regionally in the Thames Valley area, which I jumped at the opportunity to return to a business I really admired and believed in core values. Over the last eight years I have built teams in different locations and managed a number of different sectors.

2. What have been the greatest challenges in your career?

The biggest challenge for me in my career is giving the time to everyone you want to, when you run a bigger business you want to spend as much time supporting, listening, coaching and working with everyone, something that can be challenging when there is only 24 hours in a day.

3. What do you owe your success too?

My family and friends, I have always been motivated in doing a job well and completing the task. Working hard to succeed to provide for people that are closest to me.

4. Which traits do you think have best served you in your career?

Honesty, integrity, a tenacious and positive mindset.

5. What advice would you give other women (or individuals) who strive for a successful career?

Be focused on your goals, do not be afraid to aim high and achieve your full potential.