Belinda Moore, Partner, Weightmans LLP
How long have you been working for your current company?
Briefly explain your career history and what led you to your current position.
Worked in the public sector for 15 years as a nurse and general manager before qualifying as a solicitor. Worked in local government before moving to private practice where I specialised in clinical negligence defence work then for the past 9 years worked with local authorities and the police.
What is your proudest professional achievement and why?
Winning my first trading standards prosecution in the magistrates court. It was against ASDA and it felt good.
What are the greatest challenges that you face in your current role and what do you do to overcome them?
It is increasingly difficult to balance the financial constraints of clients in the public sector with the financial needs of a top 50 law firm. Having seen a number of public sector root and branch reorganisations over the past 30 years, there will always be change and there will always be work arising out of the change.
How difficult is it for you personally to attain work-life balance and how do you endeavour to do this?
Work life balance becomes increasingly difficult as economic woes deepen. Although I expect my team to work hard and try not to leave the office before my team, I consider that leading by example is the best approach and I do not encourage working out of office hours. Everyone needs their down-time.
Did you have a mentor or role model in your career or while you were studying law? Who were they and how did they help you?
I was in an unusual position as I was busy trying to hold down a busy senior general management career in the NHS and complete a part time law degree. As a result I did not have any specific role models.
How effective do you think corporate diversity initiatives are? What methods do you think are most effective and why
The majority of candidates for jobs in my team are women. My team is however evenly split between males and females. I actively encourage females within the organisation to go for promotion. Although the proportion of female partners is good compared with our peers, there could always be more. However, many women struggle to get beyond associate as they try to manage the balance between families and careers.
Were there any points in your career when you felt you were at a disadvantage or at an advantage because you were female?
Not because I was female but because of my age and a level of fearfulness of about having entered law at an unconventional time and having non law experience.
What do you think have been the most significant changes for women in the legal industry over the past five years
There have been more high profile female appointments. I would like to think they got there by their intellectual rigour and humanity rather than behaving as one of the boys. Women have so much to give to the legal sector.