Lisa Mayhew is the Managing Partner of Berwin Leighton Paisner, a Silver Circle law firm with revenue of over £250m.
There are lots of reasons why she got where she is but a key ingredient was her willingness to take a long term view of her career.
A key part of this was that she did not give up on her long term goals when she had children and decided to work part time for 4 years.
She recognised that in a 30 - 40 year career that stage in her life was a limited part and that she should keep perspective.
She did not give up on her career goals and if proof of what can be achieved.
Whenever I am asked about this by associates or other colleagues contemplating giving up previously held career progression ambitions or even leaving the profession altogether, I tell them that their career can be very long – perhaps 30-40 years. Viewed in that context, people shouldn’t be too quick to make life-changing decisions about their careers unless they have really thought it through. A period of change in your personal life, such as having children or caring for others, can be very short in the context of a long career. It is therefore better to keep going, even at a reduced level for a period, in order to keep your longer-term options open. The days of a one-track path to partnership are well and truly over – so working in a different way of itself should not affect your career progression.