Kirsty Green-Mann – Head of Corporate Responsibility at Burges-Salmon – shares some insights into her job and career.
I’m Head of Corporate Responsibility with Burges Salmon, a UK independent commercial law firm.
My role is pretty varied it involves: framing our approach to responsible business to drive performance across environmental, social, and governance issues; contributing to a number of internal committees; oversight of relevant benchmark and award submissions and using them to drive improvements, while building strategic partnerships across our community portfolio.
- Other parts of my role also include:
- Representing the firm externally in relevant forums; speaking at conferences and on webinars.
- Providing social media content; responding to client queries and requests for information; contributing to client pitches.
- Keeping up to date with external developments; delivering some training and awareness sessions;
- Writing reports and papers; managing a team; and, various stakeholder engagements internally and externally.
What could our catalysts do to get the right skills, experience and qualifications?
To now be Head of Corporate Responsibility – my skills and experience have been built up over many years – both academically, in the workplace and professionally.
I’m a member of relevant professional bodies including the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.
I think the biggest thing is attitude – be curious, learn from others, lean into opportunities, go above and beyond, know your boundaries and recognise we never stop learning!
I do have academic qualifications including a MSc in Engineering and a MBA in Business but the most important things are work experience and personal development.
I’ve been lucky to have plenty of workplace training from presentations, social media to skills like influencing and making the most of a team. Understanding yourself and others is really helpful too – looking into profiling tools like ‘Myers Briggs’.
Any tips you might have for young women starting out on their career journey?
- Seek out all the opportunities you can – use your network and always be working to build it. Use work experience as well as volunteering.
- Don’t worry if you are not completely sure what you want to do – the world of work changes and we all find our way.
- Find a balance between ambition and being kind to yourself.
- Be open to feedback – we all have perceptions of each other – we can’t grow if we don’t know.
- Be in for the long-term and don’t give up on your dreams, sometimes we take a step back to take a step forward.
- If something isn’t working make a change – we can’t change what happens to us but we can take control of what we do next and how we respond.
- In general be mindful ‘if we don’t ask we don’t get’ so ask! If you need help sometimes that’s OK use your support network and learn from others.
- Prioritise your wellbeing and know what works for you.
- If you don’t know find out – the internet has a wealth of information from which we can self-teach.
Why are you a Catalyse Change sponsor and supporter?
I and Burges Salmon are a Catalyse Change sponsor and supporter because it aligns with our values and our commitments to equality, diversity and inclusion and sustainable development.
Catalyse change is a respected partner because we’ve seen the quality of the work and it is important to shine a light on the sustainability challenge but also enable those who will lead us through. Women need raising up as there is still disparity particularly in leadership positions.
Working with Catalyse Change is very much a partnership with involvement way above a mere financial donation although of course funding is important!
What challenges have you faced as a woman, if any, in a corporate career?
I work full-time and always have. I have two sons who are now almost 18 and 16. It is a challenge as a working Mum but it is possible if you put the support systems in place. I used to feel guilty not always being there as much as other Mums particularly having worked internationally and often having to be away from home. This doesn’t make me a bad Mum I’ve provided for my boys in many ways and they now tell me that they are proud of me.
What do you do to relax?
I look after my wellbeing by being able to reprioritise and to say no so I don’t get over-stretched. I indulge in a private 1:1 yoga class once a week and go for short slow jogs (its all I can manage) three times a week. I walk a lot and enjoy my garden and nature.
Would you like to join us a sponsor or catalyst this year? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.