Women in the workplace | RED Global Q&A session with Agathe Large
In honour of International Women’s Day 2022, we’re hosting a series of interviews with Women in the Workplace.
First stop in our series of interviews is Agathe Large, Head of Legal and Compliance at RED Global. Agathe sits on the Board of Directors at RED, manages a successful team and recently added ‘mother’ to her list of achievements. With a 7-month-old baby at home, we talk to Agathe about overcoming the challenges of work/life balance and how women can sometimes be their own worst enemy. Read further to find out why.
1. Can you tell us what you do in your role on a day-to-day basis?
I am Head of Legal and Compliance. I support the RED Group with its legal operations (whether it’s transactional, litigation or corporate) and advise the board on any new regulatory topics impacting the company.
2. What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Besides advising the board in major company decisions, it has to be managing a cracking team of compliance officers and legal advisors.
3. As a woman in the workplace, and specifically in the boardroom, do you ever feel that your voice isn’t heard as much your male colleagues?
No, and I think it has to do with one’s self-confidence and trust. Confidence in the work I deliver, and trust within the relationships that I’ve built with each board member. It’s empowered me to share my opinion whenever needed because I know they will value my input.
4. Why do you think there is a lack of women at Director level across most industries?
I have heard many of my friends hesitating to ask for a promotion because they believed they weren’t qualified enough, although they had all the skills required. Classic imposter syndrome!
If only women could remember all their successes at work instead of perceiving themselves as a fraud, I believe we would have many more women at Director level.
5. What do you do to help break the bias and ensure women have the same opportunities as men, at RED and other businesses?
By sharing stories like this one. Lobbying for fairer company policies. Making sure I have equal representation in my team.
6. Do you ever consider yourself to be a role model for other women at RED?
Gosh no! See? That’s the imposter syndrome kicking back in. In all seriousness, I try to lead by example by demonstrating that you can have high standards, big responsibilities and be a woman all at the same time.
7. What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?
Qualifying as a UK solicitor whilst being 7 months pregnant and working full time as Head of Legal and Compliance.
8. Do you think that being female has ever worked for or against you in business?
Neither. I hope that my ability to do my job dismissed any misconceptions anyone might have of me.
9. What do you think are the biggest obstacles that a woman faces in the workplace?
Overcoming her own self-doubt.
10. Do you feel that women have the same opportunities as men?
I think men tend to create opportunities for themselves whereas women tend to wait until asked. It is up to us to do the same!
11. Do you think it is harder for a woman to grow her career and have a personal life? And if so, how can we overcome these challenges?
Yes, as long as parental leave is not shared equally.
12. Is there anything that men could do to support women in the workplace and to reduce bias?
We need to be more accommodating of the challenges in our personal lives and learn to incorporate those into the workplace through more flexible working arrangements. This would widen the talent pool and lead to the hire of more competent staff, many of whom I am sure would be working mothers.
13. Do you have any role model women that you would advise women start paying attention to?
Listen to your mums, they know best…most of the time!
Achieving success in the workplace whilst being a mother is one of biggest challenges that many women face through their careers. Key to overcoming this challenge is for women, such as Agathe, to have more visibility in the workplace. Research has shown that a lack of role models at senior level is negatively impacting women’s advancement in their career. According to a McKinsey &Company research, mothers have scored higher ambition levels in the workplace than women in general. Attracting women it's important for business, therefore it is essential that employers create flexible working opportunities for mothers. This approach not only helps women balance work and personal life, but also helps employers attract and retain a diverse talent pool.
As an employer, what are you doing to ensure a better workplace for working mothers?
To working mothers out there, find out what your company is doing, use your voice, help break the bias.
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