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Lawrence Stephens welcomes back Associate following a 5-year career break to have children

November 2022

Lawrence Stephens welcomes back Anna Christou, Associate in the Real Estate Finance department to work, following maternity leave and a 5-year career break to raise three young children.

A combination of the post-pandemic world and Lawrence Stephens’ encouragement, allowed for the perfect degree of flexibility to which Anna could return to her career without detriment to her professional position or to her children’s’ wellbeing.

Prior to the flexible working arrangements that have been normalised, there had been pressure on women in the industry to work until Partner level before having a family for fear that their career will be adversely affected if they leave before that milestone is recognised. there had also been the expectation of returning to work in the same capacity once maternity leave has ended. For many women this isn’t possible to achieve or maintain.

In many cases, the 9-5 job market was closed to mothers who had a duty of care to stay at home as primary care givers. Talented women have left the industry, which has left gaps of female representation in the highest positions. More women than men are qualifying into the legal profession each year. Facilitating flexible returns to work will retain talent and ensure a more even representation of women at Director/equity level in years to come. Hybrid working has opened the door, now firms need to pave the way.

Today, even in the most demanding industries such legal, women are able and trusted to work from home, to ease pressures on childcare arrangement issues, whilst maintaining a strong presence in their respective jobs. Lawrence Stephens advocates for the return of women after having a family without discrimination and has committed to supporting returning mothers by ensuring flexible work hours, and a promise to protect their position within the firm. This is done in order to make sure they know that they will be welcome back when its time for them to do so.

The wider firm, along with Anna’s clients have warmly welcomed Anna back to work, with the expectation that she will be able to service them excellently. Her return is paramount to enhancing the service offering at Lawrence Stephens. In a fast-paced industry and in turbulent times; shortages of skill and costs associated with training, can be an incumbent to the functioning of a well-run company. Anna, both understands the needs of her clients as well as the culture of the firm and so has re-integrated seamlessly and efficiently.

Anna Christou, Associate in the Real Estate Finance department comments on her return: “I am delighted to be back at Lawrence Stephens after my career break. I look forward to working with my talented colleagues to drive the Real Estate Finance team forward”.