It was a privilege to virtually meet Farmida Bi for an Alumni Masterclass. After researching Farmida’s career I was very excited to hear her thoughts on commercial law, politics and diversity initiatives because she has made such important contributions in each of these areas. The Masterclass exceeded my expectations of what I would learn as Farmida spoke with such frankness and warmth about her personal and professional journey.
Farmida is currently the Chair of Norton Rose Fulbright and her insights into commercial law were fascinating. She spoke about her decision to become a solicitor rather than a barrister and where she had faced difficulties in her career. Her resolve to ‘keep going forward’ and take on new roles and challenges contributed to the very successful career she has. This particularly resonated with me because as a university student I have completed many internship applications and resilience is a much-needed quality for the process. It was also fascinating to hear about some of the clients she advises, in particular, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Government of Pakistan.
She is also Chair of Patchwork Foundation and it was clear she believes very strongly in the important values and aims of Patchwork. Our conversation ranged from her experiences in Britain as a Muslim and how the Black Lives Matter movement has given a new energy to diversity initiatives in the city. Many Patchworkers said afterwards that they were grateful for her honesty because it facilitated such a meaningful discussion. I personally was reminded that every person can have a positive impact on their field of work and that in whatever path we choose we can make a difference.
Farmida’s authenticity, thoughtfulness and ambition shone through during our conversation and left all of us feeling very motivated.
Written by Imaan Ahmad, a Patchwork Masterclass Participant 2020