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Q&A for International Women's Day 2018 with Sue Robinson, EY

Sarah Reid International Women's Day, Tax in Professional Services, Career Advice...

Brewer Morris is proud to be supporting International Women's Day 2018. We have interviewed a selection of our female clients asking them how they are pressing forward for women's gender parity #pressforprogress

Past progress

If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be and why?*
Don’t believe those people who say you can’t.

What action or decision are you most proud of making in your lifetime?
Having children.

Describe one of your failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?
Getting ungraded 'grades' in physics and chemistry GCSE's. I thought I was being clever as it wouldn't figure on my certificates where as sub-c grade would have but it meant my school wouldn’t let me take biology A-level which I loved and that was despite being the only person to get a grade A in biology (yes my school wasn't one of the best!).

I learned that if I’d spent half as much time on getting through the physics and chemistry exam than working out “clever” ways around it i probably would have achieved what I really wanted – to do my biology A-level. It’s all too easy to focus on excuses rather than focus your hardest on achieving something positive.

if you had to start your career from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I’d be doing psychiatry.

Present progress

Of the people that inspire you, what character traits do they have which you admire?
Resilience; compassion; loyalty.

If I were to ask people in your workplace for three adjectives that best describe you, what would they say?
Decisive; fair; creative.

How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
Being my own worse critic and never being quite satisfied with what I do.

If you were to be a mentor to someone within your profession, what one piece of advice would you give?
Be true to yourself – learn what your strengths are (including your hidden strengths from those who know you best) and focus on enhancing those above all other things.

What is your personal mantra?
Be happy but not at the expense of others.

Future progress

How is gender parity being achieved in your profession and what do you think needs to be done to press for progress?
There are many female-focused support networks and sponsorship programmes at the more junior level; the increase of flexible working is helping and there is focus on unconscious bias in training and recruitment.

What would you say the top 3 skills are needed in order to be successful in your industry?
Focus; Resilience; Hard work

What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind?
A successful, happy healthy team!