International Women’s Day 2024: Spotlight on Angharad Bryant

This month, to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, we are sharing a series of profiles on inspiring Kaizen women.  Angharad Bryant recently qualified as a solicitor after completing her training at Kaizen and is now a Legal Counsel in our legal team.

What motivated you to choose law as a career?

While studying Ancient Greek at The University of St Andrews, I attended careers fairs where I spoke to solicitors about the nature of their work and the skills needed to be a successful commercial solicitor, such as analytical ability, interpersonal skills and commercial awareness.

I thought I would be suited to a career in law as I had developed these skills at school and during my degree.

I gained work experience in commercial firms and in-house legal departments within companies during university holidays and enjoyed the work and professional environment. My first legal work experience was with a team of in-house solicitors at Universal Music, which was very exciting as I love music. In my second week, I was tasked with drafting a licensing agreement concerning the distribution rights of the recordings of an artist’s concerts and began to appreciate how the law is used to facilitate business and manage risk. After graduating from St Andrews, I completed the GDL and LPC at The University of Law and never looked back.

What is it about your work at Kaizen that interests you?  Why did you choose to do your training with Kaizen?

The variety of my workload at Kaizen appeals to me. No day is the same and I am constantly confronted by new challenges. As an in-house solicitor, I support the business in a range of legal matters, from drafting, reviewing and negotiating commercial contracts to advising on contentious and litigious matters.

From previous work experience, I knew that I was suited to an in-house environment and focused on applying for in-house legal roles.

When the role at Kaizen came up, I immediately applied as the company had a reputation as a market leader in the regulatory technology industry and as a great place to start a career.

I was also keen to work in a growth company as I expected that I would be involved in corporate matters, such as mergers and acquisitions, and gain the breadth of experience required to qualify as a solicitor.

Since joining Kaizen, we have incorporated a Dutch subsidiary, acquired a company and invested in a few businesses, which has kept the legal team busy! By training to be a solicitor in-house and working alongside my clients, I have gained a unique insight into Kaizen’s business and truly understand my clients’ goals and priorities.

Regtech can be male dominated, what positive steps do you think we could take to help women overcome the challenges they face in our industry?

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a transformation in the way we work. It is now standard for employers to offer flexible and remote working policies to employees, which are particularly valuable to women as they still carry out a disproportionate amount of childcare and household work. Flexible working arrangements make it possible for women with caring duties to work full-time without sacrificing career progression.

Further, I think that it is important for employers to have competitive maternity policies to attract and retain young, ambitious women in the workplace. By offering women a generous maternity policy, employers are giving women the opportunity to both continue with their careers and start families in the knowledge that their careers will not suffer.

Establishing support networks is a great way to give women the opportunity to share their experiences and support one another with challenges. For example, at Kaizen, we have an Empowering Kaizen Women (Microsoft) Teams group where people share webinars, articles and events related to women’s career advancement in the Regtech industry. The marketing team also host an annual event in celebration of International Women’s Day, which is always a great opportunity to network and get to know other women in the company and hear their career stories.

Which women inspire you the most?  Why?

I am inspired by women who have been key proponents of women’s rights over the last few centuries and women who have broken the boundaries in law, politics, music and literature. For example, I admire Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was the second woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Throughout her career, Ginsburg advocated for women’s rights and gender equality and is one of the most famous female lawyers in the world.

Her visibility and power have no doubt inspired a generation of female lawyers.

As a fan of pop music, musicians such as Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa inspire me as they are incredibly hardworking, talented songwriters and wholly dedicated to their careers. Dua Lipa has appeared in films, has her own podcast, interviewed Douglas Stuart at Hay Festival and launched a collection with Donatella Versace last year. Her confidence, dedication and willingness to step outside her comfort zone are inspiring. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift continues to break records in the music industry, most recently becoming the first artist to win Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards four times.

Angharad’s profile is part of a series on inspiring Kaizen women to mark International Women’s Day 2024. Read Coral Durham’s profile here