Politely questioning everything

Naomi Pryde, partner at DWF LLP, shares the childhood memories that had the most impact on her academic and professional career.

“I was taught that I could be anything and do anything. I was taught to politely question everything and not to necessarily take ‘no’ for an answer. I come from a working-class family and I have always wanted to be a lawyer. People from where I was from always said to me that I would never do it and people like us didn’t become lawyers or go to university. My mum refused to take ‘no’ for an answer and eventually got me a scholarship at a good school and taught me that – if I worked hard enough – I could do and achieve anything. My gran taught me that what other people think of me is none of my business and to be kind and to treat others fairly and with respect. 

“My mum and my gran’s unfailing belief in me meant that I ignored the nay-sayers and strived for what I wanted. I’m now the youngest partner at the world’s largest listed law firm and I do lots of work with women in the law groups and social mobility groups to ensure that other women from backgrounds like mine can do the same.”

How can we raise sons and daughters who will smash through glass ceilings? How can we ignore the naysayers, even when they are convinced they are right? We’d love to hear how you’re inspiring relentless ambition.