Rachel Roberts Stowe Family Law Interview

Posted: Thursday January 14 2021

By: Abbie Coleman

Rachel Roberts From Stowe Family Law, Talks To MMB Magazine In A Quick Fire Working Mum Interview

You will already know Rachel Roberts from Stowe Family Law as our specialist on all things family law for MMB Magazine West Yorkshire. But we got a chance to ask her about her life and career as a working mother and what advice she would give to others out there from her experiences.

What were/are the biggest challenges you faced or were put in your way when going back in to work after children?

I was really lucky when I first went back, as my dad did some childcare for my twins, and work accommodated me working part time. I wouldn’t say I faced any particular challenges, but it is really hard though to juggle it all, particularly when the kids are so young. I think the main challenges are the inevitable exhaustion, combined with a healthy dose of mother’s guilt!

How do you achieve your work life balance of career woman and mother?

I felt like I did this fairly well until Covid hit but since then it seems to have gone slightly out of the window! However, I would say the key is time management combined with setting boundaries. When you are at work, be fully present at work and use your time effectively, but when you are at home with the kids, be totally focused on them. Ultimately, nothing is as important as your kids, and I try to lead by example by always attending school events etc, and want my team to do the same.

If you could give your past self one piece of advice about being a working mother what would it be?

That its ok not to do it all and not to compare my progress or decisions with anyone else. I have friends who want to put their career on hold, and others that are like me still striving for onward progression. Either is fine, just make the decision that works for you and your family.

Have your career goals and aspirations altered direction since becoming a mother?

If anything I have become more ambitious in the last few years, as I really want my children to see me as a role model, and believe that they can achieve anything.

What are your future goals in your career path in the next few years, what do you hope to achieve?

From a personal perspective, my goals are around continuing to develop my leadership and business skills. Having trained as a lawyer, the last few years have been a steep learning curve as I stepped into a management role. Within the firm, I aim to deliver our ambitious growth strategy over the next few years, and as part of that, helping the people in my team to realise their career ambitions.

Can you recommend one book, film or podcast that made a difference for you in hitting your goals or helping your well-being?

I am currently listening to a really good book called The Imposter Cure, which is all about getting over imposter syndrome, which is certainly something I experience and am learning to manage.

If you had the power to change one thing in the business world for working mothers, what would you change?

A little more compassion and empathy around how hard it can be to manage a young family and work in demanding roles, and in turn proper flexible working to enable continued progression. I think women often feel it’s a choice between work and family, whereas it should be possible to have both. It’s a massive problem in the legal profession that so much talent is lost which is really sad, as many firms make it impossible to put family first. I am really lucky at Stowe as we have so many female solicitors and partners, and we do offer people that balance.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?

To understand what your business purpose is and to build your culture and strategy around that.

What is the best piece of advice you have ignored?

I was once offered a job at another firm and turned it down to stay where I am, against the advice of a couple of people I highly regarded. Seems to have worked out ok for me!

What question would you wish to ask our next mother who takes this short interview?

What support and our resources do you think it would have been helpful for you to have when you first returned to work after having a family to enable you to perform better?

Question from previous interviewee Caprice – I would love to ask, how has having children impacted your profession?

I think family law is one of the better areas to work in as a lawyer, as it is so female dominated that firms tend to be more accommodating. In terms of my practice, having children of my own has definitely made me think differently when acting for parents. Its much easier to put myself in their shoes, and perhaps understand how they might feel in a way I did not before.

Check out more of our working mother interviews here.

# Rachel Roberts From Stowe Family Law