International Women’s Day 2018 – Narguiz Birk

March 12, 2018

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, Narguiz Birk-Petersen, Head Counsel, Dubai International Financial Center

Past Progress

If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be and why?

Don’t doubt yourself (I still have to tell myself this sometimes…)

What action or decision are you most proud of making in your lifetime?

I am extremely proud of how my children are turning out. They seem to not have the gender hang-ups we grew up with. For example, my 12 year old son is very interested in and enjoys cooking; my 7 year old daughter is very athletic and likes to show off how strong she is by picking up her older brother. I would like to think that my husband and I have something to do with this. They are growing up seeing both their mom and dad working and contributing at home equally. I think they are not even aware of traditionally male and female gender roles. They do what they are good at and enjoy doing.

Present Progress

Of the people that inspire you, what character traits do they have which you admire?

Thoughtfulness, integrity, humility, courage, kindness and a sense of humour.

If you were to be a mentor to someone within your profession, what one piece of advice would you give?

I would give two, if that is Ok…
(1) Always do your best, even if you feel like you are in the wrong job/field/position. Change your situation, if you have to, but, while you are in a job, do the best you can. 
(2) Help people every time you can.

You never know where your next opportunity may come from (your current colleague may become your boss one day) and there is really no down side to either of the above.

Future Progress

How is gender parity being achieved in your profession and what do you think needs to be done to press for progress?

As with many professions, there are fewer women in senior management jobs within the legal profession. It is an interesting phenomenon – for the most part, there seem to be plenty of women in junior to mid-manager positions, but the higher you get this number typically goes down.

Hopefully, it is a generational thing and the tide will change as more women will break the glass ceiling and become leaders within their fields. I am actually very proud to be currently working in company where diversity is not something people talk about in meetings, but rather a reality. I am part of the International Commercial team at Shire that oversees operations in over 70 countries. 50% of the International leadership team are men and 50% are women. And, incidentally, Shire International is led by a woman.