Women Inspiring Women – Smash that ceiling!!!
This interview is part of the series #Smashthatceiling #womeninspiringwomen, an insight into some successful female leaders/role models and their mindset and an extract from the book “STOP IT! It is all in your head” available now.
This is the week I have the pleasure of interviewing Liz Ward, Principal at Virtuoso Legal, an award-winning practice she set up in 2007 to deal with the specialist requirements of companies for intellectual property and information technology legal advice. She has now led this field for ten years and continues to push the envelope with her work.
Liz has built up her enviable reputation due to her exceptional ability as a knowledgeable litigator with excellent commercial awareness and understanding. An expert in the healthcare and technology sectors ( she has a 1st degree in Genetics and Cell Biology and 10-year healthcare business experience ), she has advised clients in commercialising their IP assets, and her practice has set the gold standard in carrying out company IP audits.
Liz is qualified as a supervising solicitor for search and seizure Orders and has helped other solicitors who need a suitably qualified person to oversee such searches. If this is not enough, Liz also lectures and assists with electronic disclosure and theft of electronic information by employees and others.
#TheWomanAlchemist, a role model – women inspiring women – and I love her no-nonsense attitude and sense of humour 🙂
INTERVIEW WITH LIZ WARD
1. When you were a child, what was your dream job and why?
When I was a child, I wanted to be a nurse and then a doctor. I was influenced by my Mum, who was a District Nurse and Midwife. Plus I wanted to help people, and I saw how satisfying that is from my Mum’s work.
2. Can you tell me when you started to consider yourself successful?
I considered myself successful when I qualified as a lawyer. I’d completed the training and worked making another career, and I then qualified into a big law firm at the time, which was a challenging thing to achieve. Lots of well-qualified and talented people never got jobs as trainees, so they never got to become solicitors at all. Some of those didn’t get excellent training either, so I knew how lucky I’d been to get to where I was.
3. I’m sure you have faced adversity like every business/business person: how do you motivate yourself and force yourself through the worst times?
I’m really into the mindset and keeping focused on a goal. It is easy to get distracted, so I get my music on and go outside and do my chain of excellence. Also, like many people, I’ve had some significant challenges, which always serve as valuable reference points to call on for strength when the going gets tough.
4. What are the best things about your job?
The variety and the constant challenge of the law. I love helping people and putting £££ on their business! I just love business. It fascinates and stimulates me.
SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES
5. As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues”: what are your daily/weekly habits?
My daily habits include walking and listening to music. I’m a big Tony Robbins fan! Additionally, I’m a fan of healthy eating, looking after your body, mind, and soul. I’m an eternal optimist, too, which helps. So those are my daily habits, although I sometimes slip – especially when I’m not in my usual routine.
6. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
The barriers are different for everyone, but many women like to achieve balance rather than overall leadership and sacrifice career achievements to serve their families better. You can have it all but generally not all at the same time! Many women’s mindset shifts when they have children to think about. It is a natural phenomenon – why should we not be proud to put our children first? They’re our legacy, and their welfare is essential for future generations. However, leadership takes 100% commitment, so women are put off it, as they know they can’t or rather don’t want to give 100% to one thing in their lives.
WOMEN INSPIRING WOMEN
7. What women inspire you and why?
I’m inspired by strong women such as Christine Lagarde, Benazir Bhutto, Sheryl Sandberg, Margaret Thatcher, and Shirley Williams.
8. What advice would you give to your 16year old self?
You are beautiful – now get on with it and ignore the naysayers!
9. Your instant mindfulness fix…
Look to the skies and say a short prayer that starts with thank you, Lord. Show me the way, please.
10. And finally, something frivolous: the best thing about being a woman…
Clothes. Shoes. Handbags. Makeup!! Oh, and sex. LOL
Who said lawyers couldn’t be fun …..;-p
Top Takeaways from Liz Ward
- Leadership takes 100% commitment
- Keep focused on your goal – it is easy to get distracted.
- Challenges serve as useful reference points to call on your strengths
- You are beautiful – now get on with it and ignore the naysayers!
- Look after your body, mind, and soul.
See you next week for another interview in the series; thanks for reading x