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IWD: 60 Seconds with Alison Lympany

15 March 2017 | Hong Kong

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60 second Q&A with Alison Lympany

What was your career path like? Did you always want to work in this field?

I went down the traditional route of obtaining law degree and practised in several global firms in London for 7 years before making the decision to move to Australia in 2012. That's when things really started to change. I accepted a client secondment and when that finished I found myself asking some hard questions about whether I wanted to continue practising. The result was a transition into the business of law. I joined the firm's Legal Project Management team in Melbourne and then relocated to Hong Kong to build momentum in Asia. I believe there is a growing recognition that lawyers can take alternative career paths which are equally as rewarding, if not more.

What do you wish someone had told you early in your career?

We develop so much throughout the course of our careers through experiential learning. Don't be disheartened by challenging situations or individuals, use them to your advantage to refine your own approach and style. I have found that observing how not to do things can be incredibly valuable!

What tips do you have for all the women coming up behind you?

Many lawyers don't have (or take) the time to think about alternative career options. Pay attention to what is really important to you and proactively shape your career with those goals and values at the forefront of your mind. Trust your instincts. Also, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of carefully selected senior mentors – choose someone who is not in your immediate vicinity and who can give you fresh perspectives.

What woman inspires you and why?

The Mexican artist Frieda Kahlo. She embodies the qualities I value mostly highly  – passion, determination and adventure. Despite often being in her husband's shadow in her life, she has, since her death, become a celebrated figure by such a diverse range of groups – artists, feminists, art historians, political activists and within the LGBT community. She is also a style icon.

Where do you see the future taking you?

There is so much room to grow in my field of expertise and I am excited by that. I am fortunate that my employer has fully supported my career decisions and actively encouraged me to take advantage of international opportunities. I have no doubt that will continue to be the case as I would like to continue to broaden my international experience.