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TGtB Meets...Jane Oakland - International Women's Day Special

Lawyer Jane Oakland spoke to us about the importance of celebrating International Women's Day, the 5 inspirational women she'd love to get around her dinner table and why women should make the most of family time.

Which woman would you compare yourself to?

I’m not sure I would recommend doing that. Like many women, I'm inspired by the exploits and achievements of people of either gender, but comparing myself to others is something I’ve never really done.

What would you say your most valuable skill and why?

I would say my most valuable skill is taking a real interest in everyone I meet and listening to what they have to say. I also consider myself adept at juggling commitments, tasks and responsibilities. These attributes are not only crucial in my role as Partner in Thrings' Corporate Commercial team, but they also help me carry out my duties as Chairman of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and in life in general.

Why do you think it’s important to have an International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day provides a focus to celebrate what has been achieved by women already but also gives us an opportunity to reflect on what else needs to be done across the world.

Do you have family (and/or children)?  How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Yes I have a family and retaining a work/life balance can often be challenging. However, I believe enjoying life outside of work is essential, and I always make the most of my time with my family.

Have you ever had to give up or miss out on anything in order to pursue your career?

My answer to this is ‘yes, probably’. However I have also learned so much that applies to life in general.

Do you ever experience any discrimination in the work place because of your gender?

In years gone by, yes, but I am now in a position where I can just ‘get on with the job’, work with people I want to work with and support every member of my team, irrespective of gender.

Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to fellow females looking to get into your profession?

My advice would be to always do your best, set your goals and get on with the job until you achieve them. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is if you’re in a room full of men, NEVER pour the tea.

Do men ever feel intimidated by your success?

I’m not sure I can answer that. I suppose you would have to ask them.

If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be?

I would choose:

  • My mum
  • My daughter
  • My A-level English teacher
  • Jane Austen
  • Marie Curie

As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?   

I thoroughly enjoy working, and care deeply about what I do. I hope that will continue until 2024 (and beyond), and that I still retain my interest and passion.  More time for a cocktail or two on the beach would also be a bonus.

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