I am a second generation Filipino-American who moved to the UK to obtain my BA in History and English (so I am also a proud immigrant!). After an MSc in Finance, I completed the GDL / LPC against the backdrop of the credit crunch before starting my training contract at Skadden in 2011 and qualifying into the Banking team in 2013. I had my son in Dec-2018 and returned to work in Aug-2019. I spent March to Aug-2020 balancing WFH and sharing full-time parenting responsibilities with my husband (another lawyer).

I think diversity is so important for so many reasons; from an organisation’s standpoint, studies have shown a connection between innovation value and the degree of diversity within a team, which absolutely tracks for me – of course a cacophony¬†of voices / opinions / perspectives will bear richer fruit than a chorus all singing the same note. Law firms can be a bit stuck in the mud but our clients aren’t, and we need to keep up with them in order to provide them with the best service we can.

On a personal level, I will admit that I didn’t think I “needed” feminism or diversity etc. growing up as I was very lucky to grow up never feeling “less than” because I was, inter alia, a young, minority female. Entering the workforce was a quick lesson in that! With experience, I can now see that it takes a particular kind of person to be able to imagine themselves ¬†– and work towards putting themselves – in situations where no one who looks like them, or shares their values / background / accent, etc. has ever been, let alone succeeded. If you suffer from even the mildest case of imposter syndrome, it becomes just that much harder to believe you belong somewhere, that much easier to think “why should I, of all people, be the person to overcome this?”

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