Our Members

OUR MEMBERS
WOF is a movement focused on collaboration and kindness in the workplace, galvanising a community of women to work together as a new generation of talent across multiple sectors and industries. Learn more about the inspiring and high-achieving women who are part of our community.
Tamara Box
Managing Partner EME, Reed Smith
What is the best part of your job?
Participating in the development of young lawyers brings me a great deal of satisfaction. It goes without saying that I enjoy helping clients achieve their aims with regard to their business operations, but in my leadership position I also have responsibility for other lawyers whose careers depend on our collective effectiveness in the marketplace. It is particularly gratifying to see successful colleagues and protégés use their experiences to further inspire and motivate their own juniors to become successful; this is real “pay it forward” in action.
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself at the start of your career what would it be?
By luck or design, my career has been exactly what I wanted it to be, so I’m not sure I would do anything differently with the benefit of hindsight. I have tried to build my career based on three principles:
1. You have to make your own opportunities.
As a young associate, I was assigned to a litigation group in my first job, but I was more interested in the transactional side of the law, particularly with regard to the financial industry (I read Monetary Economics at the London School of Economics before going to law school at Georgetown). I asked for extra assignments from the corporate finance group, even though it meant working even longer hours. But I was intrigued and stimulated by the deals, so I was happy to do whatever I could to learn about these transactions. It wasn’t long before my efforts were recognised and corporate finance lawyers were asking for me by name. Shortly afterward, I was finally transferred to the corporate finance group permanently.
2. Lift as you rise.
I am perplexed when I see people who seem to ignore their colleagues who are on similar career journeys. You don’t get a promotion without plenty of support from your peers, your superiors, and your juniors, and these individuals need to be recognised and brought along whenever possible. You are not uniquely qualified; others are equally deserving of promotions and opportunities. Make sure you share the spotlight.
3. Say yes!
Whether it’s an opportunity to work on a deal, to meet a friend/client/colleague of someone i know, to join a group that are working toward something I’m passionate about, to consider a new job opportunity, to consider a move to a new location, to answer the request for career advice or simply to join a meeting, I’ve been rewarded so often by those times that I said yes. It clearly doesn’t always pay to say yes, but I’m quite sure I am where I am because I said yes to so many things, including some opportunities that turned out to be life changing and/or career making.
What is an act of kindness that you will remember forever?
When my son was about six, we took him to the Cheltenham Literature Festival for the first time. As we came out of a restaurant, he noticed a homeless man sitting on the street with a sign that said, “Hungry.” A woman handed the blanket-wrapped, shivering man a cup of coffee, which he accepted gratefully, wrapping his hands around the warm cup while he drank greedily. My son watched in fascination. I leaned down and said, “Would you like to give him some money?” He replied, “No, Mom. He’s HUNGRY. I want to give him some FOOD.” He then returned to the restaurant and ordered the exact meal he had just eaten and brought it out for the homeless man.
My son has always been and continues to be a generous individual, but this particular act of kindness was more than that. It was not enough for him to give something to the homeless man; it had to be the SAME thing my son had just had—equal, in other words, to that which his life of relative privilege had given him but which fate unfortunately had denied to the man on the street.
I think there’s a lesson for all of us here.
What is your favourite quote?
“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” - This famous quote by Madeline Albright reminds us that we as women have a particular responsibility to other women, who have traditionally been disadvantaged in the workplace by the privilege accorded to men through cultural expectation and unconscious bias. I have updated her quote for my own career by turning the admonition into a directive with a positive message: “There’s a special place in leadership for women who help other women.”
If you could invite two people to dinner (dead or alive!) who would they be and why?
Two admirable women from our time come immediately to mind: Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Hillary Clinton. Both have devoted their lives to public service and fairness. Both are happy to be women but not happy that women are treated as inherently unequal in our society. Smart, well-educated, articulate, passionate, thoughtful, capable, dedicated—these two heroes of our time defy easy description but clearly they are inspirational role models for women of all generations.
The only reason I didn’t say “Madeleine Albright” in response to this question is that I was fortunate enough to have dinner with her already! It was magical; her stories about her brooches and her political experiences will be remembered forever.
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