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I was honoured to be invited to the latest networking event of the North West division of the Association of Asian Women Lawyers, held at All Bar One on King Street in Manchester city centre on Thursday 21 May 2015.
I met some great people and a big thanks to the Chair Rakhi Chowhan from Linder Myers, and committee members Sapna Gangani from JMW and Angeli Vadera from Keoghs for making me feel very welcome.
If you are interested in attending the next event, do not hesitate to get in touch with me or a member of the committee. http://www.aawl.org.uk/index.html
It is great to see the active networking taking place in our city. As a lawyer now, business development is crucial in the development of your legal career as it hones your client skills and makes you a more attractive prospect to a future employer.
This is particularly pertinent to female lawyers. Whilst there are noticeably more women qualifying as lawyers than men, women still fall behind in senior roles. One of these factors is interrupting careers to have children. When a female lawyer then returns to work, they are juggling at being as efficient as possible during their working day. This is coupled with knowing you have to run out of the door at the end of the day to avoid hefty nursery fines, clocking up for every ten minutes you are late!
Climbing the partnership ladder involves spending hours outside the office and networking events, lunches with your peers who are also looking to move up. It is often, when female lawyers juggling all the balls required in balancing a career with children are overstretched, the ‘networking ball’ that is dropped because of time constraints. This can be detrimental to long term career development; sitting at your desk producing excellent work is not enough in today’s business world.
My advice is to look around you at colleagues, contacts you have made in professional services, university friends and build your network! Even if it is just once a month, plan to attend an event or a business dinner.
You might even enjoy it!