We don’t hear enough positive stories about new mothers being promoted, so we were thrilled to learn that Quinert Rodda & Associates’ newly minted partner Sophie Inwood has recently returned to work following the birth of her twins.
Quinert Rodda is a boutique Victorian firm, and Sophie also happens to be the first female partner appointed (she’s now one of four partners) – a number Sophie hopes to see increase in the future.
Sophie will lead the litigation department at the firm, giving it a renewed and broader client focus.
“I work in a great firm that supports women through the juggle of new motherhood without compromising their careers,” she tells Women’s Agenda.
“Although we are small we have plans to increase our female presence and formally implement more female-friendly policies, it would be great to see other firms implement the same values and practices because it’s so important to retaining females in the industry. “
Sophie adds that making a deliberate decision to stay as accessible to major clients and the office as she could while on maternity leave ultimately helped her return.
“I wanted to maintain my presence and try to assure people that although there had been a big change in my life, my career and clients were still a priority to me,” she says.
“Although it was extremely difficult at times to stay involved in files while adjusting to motherhood with twins, I was always entirely honest with the Partners as to how I was coping and what capacity I had.”
It also took a lot of multitasking. “Most of my emails were written with a baby (or 2) on my hip or hooked up to my electric double pump, but I made it work for me.”
She believes communication is key for lawyers and other professionals who want to stay connected to their work while on maternity leave.
But equally important is negotiating a return-to-work that is flexible, and being able to adapt and change as you take on more hours.
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