Where do you work, what do you do?
I am a legal adviser to the business at HS1 Limited. I therefore provide legal advice and assistance to my colleagues across all areas of the business – engineering, regulatory, commercial, property, finance and general corporate services such as IT and facilities. I’m also involved in the corporate secretariat and corporate governance areas and manage our risk register on a day to day basis. This means that I get involved in lots of different projects and get to see all the fantastic things that the High Speed 1 route achieves.
What has been your career journey so far?
I started my career as a lawyer working in private practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. This involved working across many legal areas and for a wide variety of clients in many different industries. After a secondment in-house at Tesco, I decided that I preferred working on the client-side and moved into the role at HS1 Limited. I have now been with the company for around 18 months.
What motivates you to put forward your greatest effort?
The High Speed 1 route has a great reputation in the industry and my colleagues are continuously working to provide an even better service for passengers, our TOC customers and users of our stations. It’s very inspiring to work with a group of people who really care about doing a great job and are motivated to make improvements wherever they can.
What aspects of the job do you (or your journey to date did you) find the most challenging/rewarding and why?
The variety of my work is fantastic. I usually have at least two big projects ongoing at any one time and lots of smaller matters. I’m also starting to work on areas outside of legal (eg. Risk) which will provide great new skills for my future career.
What has been your biggest success to date and what contributed to that success?
I’d love to talk about some great projects, but unfortunately details are confidential at the moment!
How do you balance home and work life? What advice would you give to other women?
I used to work in an industry which is infamous for its long working hours and lack of a work/life balance. Therefore, I now think that it’s very important to ensure that I pursue interests outside of work. I think this really helps me to stay motivated whilst I’m at work and to ensure that I’m more productive if I know I’m going to leave by 5:30 every day. Often when you work longer hours, there is a tendency to be less focused if you know you’ll be around late anyway.
What would be your advice to young women entering the industry?
On first impression, the rail industry can appear to be very much male dominated. However, there are many fantastic female role models achieving fantastic things across the industry working in all areas – engineering, support services, commercial.
Interviewed November 2017