On Tuesday 3 October 2017, the Haberman Ilett Women’s Network hosted a lively panel discussion around a topic that is of interest to us all during our career: how to align our professional and personal ambitions.

The talk featured three inspiring panellists who kindly shared their personal stories:

  • Pam Kenworthy OBE, a non-practicing solicitor, who led the publicly funded national telephone advice service Civil Legal Advice and pioneered many other local community advice centres.
  • Funke Abimbola MBE, General Counsel and Head of Financial Compliance at Roche UK, who uses her spare time to campaign for social mobility, gender equality and race diversity in the legal profession and wider business community.
  • Liz Choudhury, Project Director and Co-Founder of the Ian Hutcheon Clinic for Children (IHCC), a charity working to prevent childhood hearing loss in underprivileged children.

Each of the panellists covered the brief of ‘aligning ambitions’ by sharing their stories of the attitudes and actions that have motivated and empowered them to achieve professional fulfilment by running their personal ambitions in parallel with, or after, their careers.  Pam discussed how her upbringing shaped her future career choices and aligned her personal beliefs with the direction in which her career took.  She also spoke about the importance of will and determination to make these ambitions a reality.  Funke shared with the audience how her different life experiences pushed her to campaign for the things she believes in.  She gave her top tips to achieving your ambitions, including maintaining focus, supporting others and keep learning.  And finally, Liz completed the stories with her own successes and challenges of setting a charity up from scratch, after a life-changing trip to Uganda, and the abundance of new skills she’s developed along the way.  A perfect final example of how you never stop learning.

Although each panellist spoke from their individual perspective, there were some messages that were consistent between them, such as:

  • Stand out from the crowd;
  • Be passionate about what you do;
  • Recognise each step as a success, no matter how small, everything is progress; and
  • Go for it, because, as said by Liz Choudhury, “you may just find your jigsaw comes together

Hosted by Vikki Wall, a Partner and one of the founding members of Haberman Ilett LLP, the subsequent debate focussed on challenges, decision making, standing out, time management and gender diversity.

The evening concluded with canapes and wine, and the opportunity to chat about the evening’s discussions.  Thanks to everyone who attended, and in particular thanks to our panellists for such inspiring speeches.  We look forward to seeing everyone at the next Haberman Ilett Women’s Network event.  Please email events@hiforensic.com if you would like to be added to the mailing list.