Inspirational Women in Law: Leah Glover
The Women Lawyers Division at the Law Society supports and advises all women solicitors and aspiring women solicitors, from trainees to retirees and are dedicated to meeting the needs of their women solicitors.
Providing an opportunity for women solicitors to have their voices heard, their members work in private practice, and in-house within corporate, public sector and not-for-profit organisations.
We will hear from women who are members of the Division, how it has helped them through their journey in law, as well as insightful nuggets of advice.
The first in this series is Leah Glover, an associate in the Banking and Finance sector. Revealing when she knew law was the career journey for her, she speaks about how women can face deal with negative confrontation and how the Women Lawyers Division has helped her.
Why did you pick law?
I’ve wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember. The profession is not always as glamorous as the TV shows would have people believe, but it is safe to say it hasn’t failed to disappoint so far – it’s intellectually challenging and I enjoy being in an advisory role. The only downside for me is the long hours, but achieving a good outcome for a client makes it all worth it.
When did you decide the banking sector was the one for you?
If someone had told me at 16 I would have become a banking and finance lawyer, I wouldn’t have believed them – the world of finance seemed such a daunting and scary place. During my training contract, I realised the non-contentious, drafting work was more suited to my skill set, and I gravitated to that sort of work. I also realised that the financial world was easily accessible once you get your head around the terminology. What I really like about it is getting creative with the documents when clients want bespoke provisions to apply to them.
How do you deal with negative confrontation?
Difficult people are found in every workplace and unfortunately, it is something most of us will have to deal with at some point. You can really improve your own environment and morale when you learn how to deal with bad behaviours in the workplace. I think the key is to try not to take rejection personally, be courageous and try to learn from the experience that has led to the negative confrontation – is there anything you could do differently next time?
Best tip on improving confidence?
Focus on the positives. It is easy to be negative, which destroys confidence. Take some time to think about your achievements, accomplishments and things that you are good at. I find it helpful to keep a note of what I have done – remind yourself that you are good at your job – you got this!
How has the Women Lawyers Division helped you?
The Women Lawyers Division is a safe space to talk about issues women may be facing due to gender. The inspirational speakers they host each year at the annual Fiona Woolf lecture really do demonstrate the great things that are being achieved by our gender in this profession. The events hosted by the Division have given me some useful tools that have helped me to go further in my career – tips on networking, building confidence and having difficult conversations about salary and promotions to name a few.
As Chair, what do you think are pressing issues the sector should be addressing?
I find it remarkable that, 100 years after women were permitted to practice law, we are still facing such an imbalance between the genders at senior levels. Too often, I have heard people in our profession say things like “we would hire more women in senior partnership positions, but we just cannot find anybody with the skill set”, or that women “don’t ask” for a pay rise or a promotion. In a profession that now has 60% women at entry level, it seems unfeasible to me that there are not enough women to filter through the profession to senior positions. Organisations need to look at their hiring practices that may be excluding women from the process.