Ruchi Kaushal, Cable & Wireless Communications
Taylor Root is proud to be supporting International Women's Day 2018. We have interviewed a selection of our female clients asking them how they are pressing forward for women's gender parity #pressforprogress
Taylor Root interviewed Ruchi Kaushal, General Counsel, Cable & Wireless Communications
If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be and why?
I would tell myself that what I have to say matters and to not be afraid to speak up. In certain situations where I felt out of my comfort zone, I would often stop myself from asking a question or stating my opinion. I now try very hard not to do that and sometimes ask myself “what would a man do in this situation.”
What action or decision are you most proud of making in your lifetime?
I am most proud of my decision to move across the pond from Toronto, Canada to London, England as a senior associate with Shearman & Sterling. It was a decision I made for myself and I have truly benefited both personally and professionally from the international experience.
Describe one of your failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?
I once made a mistake as a junior associate and I thought it was the end of the world. When I told my senior associate, he put the mistake in context and found a solution on how to rectify it. I remember a few days later the Managing Partner saying to me, there is no such thing as a mistake, unless you do it twice. I have never made that “mistake” again and when others come to me with their problems, I work with them to find a solution instead of blaming them for the “mistake”.
If you had to start your career from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I should have allocated more time to learning golf! Seriously, I probably should have spent more time seeking out mentors within and outside my workplace to gain longer term career advice.
Of the people that inspire you, what character traits do they have which you admire?
I admire those that are clever, authentic and strategic.
If I were to ask people in your workplace for three adjectives that best describe you, what would they say?
We recently participated in a similar activity at a strategy retreat. “Advocate, Smart and Problem Solver” were mentioned most often.
How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
I like to take on new professional challenges every 4 to 5 years. Not only do you have the opportunity to work and learn from a new team of colleagues, but you also learn about a new business and develop new skills.
If you were to be a mentor to someone within your profession, what one piece of advice would you give?
My advice would be to take risks and grab hold of opportunities - you never know where it may lead you.
What is your personal mantra?
What goes around comes around – it is important to treat people how you would like to be treated.
How is gender parity being achieved in your profession and what do you think needs to be done to press for progress?
Until recently, I was the only female on my executive team, however, I am proud to say my company has recently hired a female CEO. I do believe in-house legal departments have been more gender balanced, however, we need more women in the C-suite. In order to do this, I believe you need to force commitments and targets for diversified C-suites and boards.
What would you say the top 3 skills are needed in order to be successful in your industry?
I believe the top 3 skills to be a successful GC in my industry are: commercially oriented, a problem solver and a great listener.
What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind?
I want to be known as someone who made a difference and pushed the bar a little bit further than what existed before.
At the recent Golden Globes, Oprah delivered a moving speech which led to people talking about her running for president. If you had the choice to recommend a leader, who would it be and why?
This is a tough one and it should not be a tough one. I would recommend Sheryl Sandberg – she continues to press for progress and break through barriers. We need more motivational leaders like her in business.