Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now?
I use my skills and knowledge to empower clients and the various organisations I serve in my board roles. I fly constantly between Townsville, where I am based, and Brisbane, where most of my legal and board work is, and use the time in the air for myself to refresh and rest! I also try to keep fit wherever I am.
What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?
I love to solve problems and I also wanted to help people and make a wider contribution, and the law presented a way to do that constantly. I still get a tremendous thrill when I can lead clients through what is to them an opaque, insoluble maze. It makes it all worthwhile. I am also constantly surprised at how a legal education opens the window on the way society operates at every level – I often wonder how people manage who aren’t trained in law (but obviously they do!)
What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?
Different, variety, inclusive
What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?
It will take another generation and some seismic shifts in the way business is being done, probably as a result of world crises such as COVID 19, and the influence of today’s millennials who do think differently about how they want to live their lives. Law firms have changed in many ways since I was admitted but many are still doing things the way they always have with crazy expectations of legal professionals. It will take leaders in the profession to really mean it when they say ‘our people are our biggest assets’ and match that with the will and the actions to really care for the assets!
Jane is the Director and Principal at Seawright Consulting.