Q&A with some of SOR’s Female Solicitors

| Elaine McNally

We asked our female colleagues what nuggets of advice would they share with other female professionals. Here is what they had to say……

What International Women’s Day means to You?

Deirdre:  International women’s day gives us a timely opportunity to reflect on female achievements and the progress that has already been made toward global gender equality. Moreover, it encourages business leaders and legal professionals in my own sector to be proactive in accelerating this goal in the years ahead.

On working as part of a team?

Elaine: At SOR the whole team is very much aligned in terms of values and goals.  Working alongside people who share the same values makes working long hours and dealing with stressful situations more enjoyable,  because everyone in the team is doing their best to contribute to the company’s mission.


On 3 key things you think are important to succeed as a woman in business?

Clodagh: 1. Put yourself forward! Research has shown a clear trend of reluctance by women in business to put themselves forward for opportunities. I think it’s really important for women in business (at whatever rung of the corporate ladder) to recognise their value and have the confidence to compete.

2. Not letting the compliments go to your head and not letting the criticism go to your heart. Success is seldom linear and in order to succeed, you need to be able to take the good with the bad. Learn from mistakes, accept direction, and recognise your achievements!

3. Don’t limit your expectation of yourself to the achievements of others. I think as women we can be overly conscious of the successes (and failures) of those around us, which can shape what we then expect from ourselves. I think it’s really important not to let potential obstacles deter ambition.”


On one piece of advice can you offer to women who want a career in Law?

Rachael: Don’t discount yourself because you don’t know everything there is to know about your industry– everyone’s learning a bit on the job. Be confident that you can learn, ask lots of questions, be comfortable with mistakes and rejection, and be self-aware enough to realise when you might need to approach something in a different way.


On the biggest issue for women in the workplace? 

Deirdre: There are not enough women in leadership roles, which is especially accentuated in tech and finance. The limited number of female role models might restrict young girls and women’s ambition and the belief that they can be successful in any sector, regardless of their gender.


On other female leaders do you admire and why?

Rachael: Michelle Obama is an inspiring leader I admire. She’s passionate about helping young girls access education and employment and is a great speaker.


On important lesson learned in your career to date?

Elaine: Expect the unexpected!  Careers have truly become non-linear, and the best thing you can do in your career is to follow your passion and the unexpected opportunities that arise and to push your internal whispers of risk aversion aside.


On maintaining a work/life balance?

Deirdre:  Measuring success in work is not just about working an 80 hour week. Here, at Sherwin O’Riordan, there is a strong emphasis on also recognising the quality of the time invested for the client. It’s easy to get caught up in working long hours, but SOR recognises, from partner level down, that to be successful in work requires the peace of mind of a harmonious work life balance.

We’re proud to work with countless women – whose talent for business innovation inspires us every day!
– Elaine McNally Partner, Sherwin O’Riordan

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