Last Thursday I attended the women in tax meeting at the RSM offices in Leicester. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be formal? Would I have to talk about anything? I’m I intelligent enough to talk about anything tax related? It has been a while since I felt proficient in tax. The most I do now are personal tax returns. And I do generally leave it till the end of the year to really worry and think about them.
I was probably the third person there. The offices were really nice and modern and airy. There was a small table in the corner for all the tea and coffee and biscuits. The tables were arranged in a big c shape which would seat around 30 people and practically covered the whole room. As soon as everyone grabbed their beverage, there was nothing else to do but sit down.
The first person I met was a mum to a three-year-old. We easily talked about our kids for a good 5 minutes. And then our work. I met a few more women who were in the same boat – working in tax and with kids. I was in awe of all these women I met who were juggling work and family. Their job titles were impressive and they seemed quite efficient at doing both. They obviously felt passionate about their work to keep going. Which made me question why I gave up so quickly. Partly I think it was because every job I tried to apply for involved bookkeeping which I just didn’t want to do and I had no idea how to get back into tax. If only I had found this group earlier in in my career or even on maternity leave, maybe I wouldn’t have given up so quickly.
Around half an hour later, once the organiser, Dipti Thakrar came round to talk to each one of us, the meeting officially started. Stephen Foulkes, chair of local CIOT, started with a speech about tax updates and a bit about himself and what he does. We were them split into groups of three to decide what we wanted to talk about in the next sessions which would take place every other month and then finally we went round the table with each of us answering one random question about ourselves.
It was a good meeting and it inspired me to keep going and keep working and not to give up if tax is really what I want to go back into. I still need to do whatever I do on my own terms so I will have to think hard about it. Either way, it was good to see so many like-minded but inspiring women out there.
Their official website can be found following this link: http://womenin.tax/