Young mum first Principal for Rocky law firm
WHILE MEGHAN Rothery was at home juggling life with a four-week old newborn and two year old toddler, she received a phone call that would change her life.
Despite being on maternity leave at the time, Ms Rothery was successful in being promoted to Principal of the Maurice Blackburn Rockhampton office.
"The application went in when I was pregnant and I interviewed for the position with a panel from the Victorian board when my son was a few weeks old," Ms Rothery said.
"The firm knowing I was pregnant, nevertheless encouraged me to apply and that shows how socially progressive the firm is."
Ms Rothery said she was proud to work in a national firm that didn't see her being a mother as a hindrance.
"The application process included my experience as a lawyer and manager in the Rockhampton office and didn't take in my family commitments as I was about to go on 12 months of maternity leave," she said.
"That didn't stop them in thinking I was eligible, appropriate or qualified for that position."
Applying for the position was not an easy process as the firm has standards to upkeep.
"It was a rigorous process, we are a national firm who have really talented lawyers across the country and there are high standards that need to be met to become a Principal," Ms Rothery said.
Due to go back to work full-time in February, Ms Rothery said she will have her hands full.
"There is no doubt it will be challenging to balance my commitments and responsibilities as a Principal and a mother but I do trust it is very possible to carry out both roles very well," she said.
"I feel so confident because I work for a firm that is very supportive in working with parents in flexible working arrangements.
"We have a number of working mothers and we do our best to enable family and work life balance."
Having a supportive husband will also make the move in her career all the more easier as well.
"I have a very supportive husband who is a barrister and he knows the responsibilities our job carries and that our schedules can change around our cases and workload," Ms Rothery said.
"He is very supportive of me pursing my career."
In the law industry for over 10 years now, getting justice for clients is Ms Rothery's passion.
"At Maurice Blackburn we are all about achieving justice for our clients," she said.
"Every day I come to work we are fighting back against unfair treatment of workers and people who have suffered loss or been wronged at the fault of others."
The work is more than gratifying.
"The feeling you get when you are helping someone who's life has been turned upside down is very rewarding," Ms Rothery said.
"And of that we know the work we do makes workplaces safer and is often the flag that invokes changes in areas where people are being wronged by others."
Being promoted to Principal will still allow Ms Rothery to continue her role in fighting for justice.
"As a Principal I will still manage the Rockhampton office and manage clients across Central Queensland but I would also have responsibilities on a state and to some extent, a national level, for the broader operation of our firm," she said.