Today we celebrate International Women’s Day. Recently we invited colleagues to share thoughts about colleagues who inspire them. Here we share the comments we received and we interview a few colleagues who received nominations.

Louise Nichol

Louise Nichol - International Women's Day

You’ve been described as ‘One amazing person’ and someone who’s ‘Brilliant at sorting anything out’. How do you feel knowing that this is how your peers see you?

Answer: It makes me burst with pride! I love coming to work and working with the people here, yes I know I’m sad but you spend a heck of a lot of time at work so you need to enjoy it and hearing these comments makes the early starts & stress of who has nicked the last pack of post-it notes worthwhile!

In the last 6 months, what’s your greatest achievement?  

Answer: Finally getting the New Business Enquiries Team up and running – we’ve talked about it for long enough!  We really didn’t know what to expect but they’ve hit the ground running and are going from strength to strength and now I have another team of confident, supportive and brilliant women to work alongside.

This year’s International Women’s Day’s theme is #InspireInclusion. How would you go about inspiring inclusion in your day-to-day work? 

Answer:  Everyone has a right to an opinion and to be heard and listened to, and even if I don’t like the opinion or agree with it, it’s only fair that I am prepared to listen and discuss it, even more so since we’ve become an EOT, we all get a say. (Just for the record, the only topic not open for discussion is who is the greatest football team in the land – MOT).

I have always been incredibly lucky at IH to have been listened to and have my many opinions taken into account, and even when it isn’t, I am always made to feel very valued, and I’m sure others feel the same.  I have never felt that simply because of my gender my voice has been less heard but maybe that’s because I can be a little gobby at times, in a good way of course, so here’s to all the gobby women in this wonderful firm and those yet to join us!

Natalie Clayton

Natalie Clayton - International Women's Day

You’ve been described as an ‘Inspiration’ and someone who’ll ‘support peers no matter how busy she is’. How do you feel knowing that this is how your peers see you ? ​ 

Answer: I feel honoured and extremely grateful for the team I have. I am very lucky to work alongside such strong and hardworking individuals. They truly are my second family and coming into work would not be the same without them.

In the last 6 months, what’s your greatest achievement? ​ 

Answer: It was just over 6 months ago but I think it is too important not to mention – being made a Partner within the firm. It was on my list of career goals and to actually achieve it (before being 30!) is amazing. I am very, very grateful. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my inspiration – Jenny Bland!

In your nominations, you were also said to ‘Listen to the team’ and to ‘Always provide positivity within the team’. How do you think you’ve inspired this positivity towards your peers? ​ 

Answer: By just being me I suppose! New Build is very stressful due to deadlines and pressure, but I think I deal with the stress very well and don’t tend to show any frustrations. I am of the opinion that if you are negative about something you are not going to feel very positive. I mean if you don’t laugh you’ll cry right?!

This year’s International Women’s Day’s theme is #InspireInclusion. How would you go about inspiring inclusion in your day-to-day work?​ 

Answer:  I think being a good role model is key, I like to make sure peers are comfortable within the workplace and try to encourage open communication within the team. Sharing personal experiences and having an open mindset really helps with this, as peers then feel comfortable in speaking openly. Making sure team members are involved at all times is important too, I naturally take on the role of looking after the team and this has passed on to other team members who are happy to help in this regard.

Keeping in touch with each other is also essential. A lot of people within New Build are in branch offices now so we don’t see each other every day like we used to. Organising social events or setting up group chats are key to ensure we all keep in touch and are involved. I have recently set up a Wordle teams group (“Wordle on the Street”) and everyone in the team is involved – it didn’t take long for it to turn into a competition. If you haven’t tried it, give it a go!

Anne-Marie O’Hagan

Anne Marie O'Hagan - International Women's Day

You’ve been described as an ‘Inspiration’ and a ‘Superhuman’. How do you feel knowing that this is how your peers see you? ​ 

Answer: It feels strange! I have worked at Ison Harrison for a long time and count many of my colleagues as friends.  I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in March 2020 and am lucky enough to have made a full recovery.  The kindness, care and support shown to me by everyone at work was phenomenal and it’s nice to hear they think I am inspirational!  Superhuman may be pushing it but it’s a lovely compliment.

In the last 6 months, what’s your greatest achievement? ​ 

Answer: My greatest achievement will hopefully be this month!  I am doing a trek in the Himalayan region to raise money for Bowel Research UK.  It will be really challenging but a celebration of my recovery since I was diagnosed 4 years ago.

With being in the HR team, what advice would you give to improve inclusion in the workplace? ​ 

Answer: Treat everyone fairly, be aware of the different challenges and individual situations that people face and work with them.  Trust people to do the right thing and they usually will!

How important is inclusion to you in the workplace? ​ 

Answer: Very!  I love the fact that we are 100% employee-owned owned and both individual and team successes benefit everyone.  Approximately 75% of our employees are female and we are proud to be family-friendly, offering a range of working patterns and access to some great support and resources for different stages of life.  There is a real team culture across the different branches and departments and this helps everyone feel included and part of the firm.  It’s a great place to work!

This year’s International Women’s Day’s theme is #InspireInclusion. How would you go about inspiring inclusion in your day-to-day work?​ 

Answer: HR have a key role in making sure the culture is inclusive.  Our values, include Supportive, Adaptable, Open and Transparent and Progressive.  They are at the heart of everything we do and help us to ensure people feel recognised and that they have career and development opportunities open to them.  I’m proud of our culture and how it reflects inclusivity day-to-day.

Thanks to Louise, Natalie and Anne-Marie for sharing their inspirational stories!

Our infographic below showcases some of the many nominations received for International Women’s Day 2024!

International Women's Day 2024

Here are some of the comments shared by our colleagues:

Gemma Vine

“Gemma manages being a top Inquest solicitor alongside being a mother and helping out at Michael’s school. She is always there for her clients as well as being there for all of us. She thinks of everyone around her.”

Emily Jemison

“Emily has hugely grown as a fee-earner in the last 4 years. Her technical ability has improved and she has built really strong relationships with her referrers. Emily is an integral part of the York team and sets a great example to more junior members of the team.”

Jenny Bland

“Jenny is a power woman. She is confident, straight to the point and a good problem-solver but is also the most kind, caring and generous person you will meet! She is a true woman of force and I look up to her with ultimate admiration.”

Charlotte Asquith

“Charlotte is such a beautiful soul and a pleasure to work with. I am always happy when she is in the office.”

Emma Galvin

“Emma is such a positive person to work with and has a strong work ethic, taking each day in her stride to support our (currently) all-female NBE team!”

Niamh Wilson

“Always putting 10000% into work, with helping colleagues, doing and everything and more for clients. She is super smart and is always putting a positive outlook on everything. She’s achieved so much and it’s a bonus she’s also a really great person.”

Natalie Clayton

“Natalie is always happy to listen to the team, constantly looking at ways to bring us together and providing positivity. She makes you feel supported regardless of how busy she is.”

Leanne Milner

“All the work she does in relation to helping domestic abuse victims and raising awareness of the issues is inspiring.”

Odanibe Obi

“She juggles motherhood and work incredibly well. She is always willing to help and support colleagues and is always a ray of sunshine.”

Emma Watson

“Emma is one of the strongest, most supportive colleagues/friends I have ever known. I would honestly be lost without her.”

Rachel Worsop

“Rachel is genuine, warm and welcoming.”

Ruth Bundey

“Ruth inspires me to achieve my full potential as she is an inspirational woman.”

Rosie Peacey

“Rosie is the most supportive and caring colleague, she always has the time to help those around her and share her expertise with other colleagues.”

Magdalena Dakowicz

“She is always smiling and uplifts any room she walks into! She takes a genuine interest in anything you have to say and genuinely cares for colleagues. She has the best sense of humour and is unintentionally funny without realising! Overall a great person to have around.”

Kirstie Blinkhorn

“Kirstie is literally the best manager! She does so much for clients and the team as well as keeping the branch afloat! She inspires me to work hard and continue learning about the job. Kirstie is a great person!”

Rebecca Hutchinson

“She does everything with a smile on her face, is always there to help clients and peers, always good vibes in the office and a fab friend!”

Mia Cecchini

“Mia inspires me every day. She is a fountain of knowledge and an incredibly kind, young lady who has taught me so much since I started at Ison Harrison.”

Anne-Marie O’Hagan

“She’s a full-time working single parent of boys who is taking on a tremendous hike for charity, all whilst being in remission herself. Is there anything she cannot do? Superhuman!”

Louise Nichol

“Louise is one amazing person. Nothing is ever too much for Louise and she is incredibly supportive.”

Stacey Allen

“Stacey is an amazing lady and inspires me with how she never gives up on anything, especially with her running – with an injury she gets over it and is back to it!”

Kara Frith

“Kara has supported me to enhance my skills and abilities and this has resulted in me remaining calm and patient when managing stressful situations.”


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