This month, we caught up with executive coach and commercial property solicitor, Hannah Beko. In our interview, Hannah explained her motivations for setting up her own coaching business, Authentically Speaking, shared some words of wisdom for women entering the profession and told us how she’d spend her perfect day off.
You’re a lawyer, career coach and you run a successful networking group, which of these do you enjoy the most and why?
That’s a tough one. I think I get the most enjoyment from training/coaching workshops. I love to do the training part but also to hear attendees’ “a-ha” moments and see how they can learn from each other and become comfortable sharing with others. There’s a certain sort of magic in the room!
That’s not to say I don’t have some wonderful legal clients and I really enjoy building relationships with them and even offer a kind listening ear when they need it, property-related or not!
What inspired you to make the move into coaching?
A Barclays seminar in April 2016 and a really great mentor! I had been wondering if I wanted to carry on in law or not but had no idea what else I could do. At this seminar, I heard a business coach speaking and although I can’t remember what he said, I remember thinking, I want to do that! I love both the training and coaching aspects of the work. When people tell you you’ve helped them to change their life, it’s pretty special.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for women within the legal profession and what advice do you give to young lawyers just starting out?
The challenge remains the same as its been for many years. Having a family, carrying that mental load, and being a lawyer. Feeling like a failure as a mother and as a lawyer. My advice is, find a good mentor. Someone ahead of you who you look up to, who inspires you. If you don’t plan to have a stay-at-home husband or a full-time nanny, a mentor who does these things can’t really help you if you’re doing it differently.
I also encourage people to see that having children doesn’t need to be seen as a negative or a hurdle. For men and women, it can be a real positive, you become much more focussed and better at time management and prioritisation!
Finally, the future is men and women working together collaboratively, sharing the load, shared parental leave and flexible working. When it’s a joint decision about who will take time off to cover chickenpox, we’re getting closer to real equality!
What do you have planned for the rest of 2020?
Such an exciting year ahead! The Women Lawyers & Mothers Group grows stronger by the month. I am working with more firms in personal and business development training with a focus as always on the superpower that is being your authentic self and growing in confidence to be the best lawyer you can be. In the first half of the year, I will be working on a roundtable event with Manchester law firms and writing a white paper on mental health and wellbeing in the law.
How would you spend your perfect day off?
With the kids of course (!) I have three gorgeous boys, 10, 6 and 2. To be honest it would be part of the day with them and part in a lovely spa with a massage and a meditation room!
Where’s your favourite holiday destination?
Pangkor Laut a small island off Malaysia. It’s just beautiful!
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
We had my husband’s 50th not long ago and we had a fantastic evening with dinner, live music and dancing. I think I’d do that again, with my brother and sister, parents and our best friends. We never get enough time to see the people that really matter to us, and having them all together was brilliant.
About Hannah Beko
Hannah Beko is an executive coach, speaker and lawyer. She founded her own business, Authentically Speaking in 2016, and provides bespoke coaching, training and workshops to professionals and organisations on topics such as stress, time and energy management, performance and success.
Alongside running her own business, Hannah is a Commercial Real Estate Partner at gunnercooke and runs Women Lawyers and Mothers, a professional networking group for women working within the legal industry in Manchester.