I'm Clare, a partner in our London office. I joined Bain many years ago, almost straight after earning a philosophy degree at Oxford. I was with the firm for a few years, and then I went to Harvard to do my MBA. After running a new business for Innocent, a consumer goods company, I came back to Bain.
After a couple of years as a manager, I got married to a diplomat with a very international career. And so we were looking for somewhere I could work, he could work, and it was sunny. Fortunately, Bain allowed me to move to our Southeast Asia offices, so I lived in Malaysia for three years and helped grow the business there.
During that time, I had two children and took maternity leave, but then I came back in different part-time modes. And I've tried different versions of part-time and done some full-time and back again to part-time depending on my family situation and their needs. One of the things that's been critical for me at Bain is they've been able to accommodate the kind of flexibility that allows me to build my family life without damaging my career.
"Thriving, for me, is being interested and engaged in my work—feeling like I'm personally growing and learning at all times, but still having the balance to do the other things that are important to me."
This includes spending time with my husband, my kids, my friends and my wider family, and that has really worked for me at Bain. Particularly as a partner, you're able to pick passion topics that you can develop, and I've worked on a broad range of areas that I'm passionate about. For example, I helped set up the Women at Bain program in Southeast Asia, which was great and impactful. At the moment, I'm involved in some gender parity research in the UK about how women can retain their work and personal balance.
Women at Bain is very strongly supported by our leadership. We are trying to understand the barriers that there may be for women staying in consulting or broader corporate careers, and put in place a set of initiatives, supports and programs to ensure that we fulfill our meritocratic mission—and that all the wonderful and talented women who join Bain are able to stay for the length of their careers, regardless of different situations they may find themselves in throughout life.