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TGt Meets... Rosalyn Trotman - IWD Special
To celebrate International Women's Day we've been speaking to local inspirational business leaders. In this interview we speak to Rosalyn Trotman, Associate Solicitor in Planning at Thrings and Chairman of Women in Property, South West.
Name: Rosalyn Trotman
Location: Bath and Bristol
Occupation / Positions: Associate solicitor in Planning at Thrings and Chairman of Women in Property, South West.
I am delighted to take on the role of Chairman for 2019. This year, we want to give back even more to our valued members, supporting them in their career paths and creating inspiring and visible role models for the industry and for the next generation. With the current skills shortage in the industry, raising the profile of the property sector as a great career option to youngsters in schools is also very much part of the remit.
Which woman would you compare yourself to? Describe a woman that inspires you and why?
Emma Watson is incredibly inspiring - using her fame to drive forward change for women worldwide. In her role as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador she is leading the way on gender issues, fronting the HeForShe campaign which calls on men to advocate for gender equality (and doing a bit of acting on the side too)!
What would you say is your most valuable skill and why?
I would say I am a good communicator - in that I am not shy about sharing my opinion, but I listen too. Sounds simple I know, but it’s an important part of being a successful lawyer and team player.
Why do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day?
Once a year, this day prompts us to take a moment to reflect on how far society has come on its journey to gender equality and to appreciate some of the most inspiring women in the world.
Women first won the right to vote one hundred years ago thanks to the efforts of brave and forward thinking women and men. Last year, we celebrated some important ‘firsts’ too, among them: the first female president of the UK Supreme Court, the first female NFU (National Farmers Union) president and the first gender-neutral acting award (Emma Watson again)!
This year, we’ve seen a wave of successful national campaigns encouraging women to step up, recognise their professional worth and be seen. My message to female professionals in the property sector, and further afield, is #MakeYourMark – whether by taking that speaking opportunity, making steps towards a promotion or helping to carve out a better path for your current (and future) female colleagues.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
By being disciplined and working collaboratively with my colleagues so that we get things done efficiently and deliver the best service to our clients - while not making late desk nights the norm.
Have you ever had to give up or miss out on anything in order to pursue your career?
I am pleased to say that, to date, I have managed to pursue my personal hobbies, social engagements and non-work ambitions while progressing my legal career, albeit with a few compromises from time to time.
Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to fellow females looking to get into your profession?
Get yourself a mentor! They can be an incredibly useful tool to help you realise your potential. It’s worth checking if your employer or university run a mentoring scheme. If not, there may be organisations relevant to your profession that offer some options. Women in Property, for example, which has branches across the country, offers a mentoring scheme for its members. It even includes training for mentees and mentors alike, meaning everyone gets the most out of it.
If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be?
1. Well of course my favourite lady, Emma Watson, would have to be there!
2. Emmeline Pankhurst, the British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote.
3. Michele Obama, former First Lady, who created her own legacy including the Let Girls Learn initiative which aims to help the 62 million girls around the world who aren’t in school access an education.
4. Amal Clooney, the ultimate lawyer idol and mother of twins! Last but not least:
5. Venus Williams, one of the top athletes of our time and a crucial person in the success of the equal prize money campaign at Wimbledon, paving the way for other sports.
As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I see myself as a Planning partner in a law firm, attending an International Women’s Day event and surrounded by likeminded men and women. We are talking about how far gender equality has come in the last ten years. More ‘firsts’, ‘seconds’ and ‘thirds’ are being celebrated in a society where the gender pay gap and glass ceiling are things of the past and where more women are CEOs or in senior management positions - across all sectors.