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“Business is all about relationships, truly understanding the pain points of humanity, and offering life-transforming solutions so people can be aligned with the highest versions of themselves.: Aishwarya Somal, Director of Emerson Family and Migration Law

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“We have actively kept abreast of events around the world and connected with partners who will help Australia deal with the impending skills shortages.”

Emerson Migration Law is a boutique migration consultancy firm recognised as one of the top three migration law firms in Brisbane, Australia. It operates worldwide.

The Silicon Review reached out to Aishwarya Somal, Director of Emerson Family and Migration Law, who spoke about how the firm goes the extra mile to provide premier, caring, and professional services to its clients. Below is an excerpt.

Head to Head with Aishwarya Somal, Director of Emerson Family and Migration Law

Q. What’s your story? And tell us what motivated you to establish Emerson Family and Migration Law.

Emerson Family Law was a decades old established practice when I took over the directorship in 2013. The catalyst behind Emerson Migration Law (founded in 2015) was my experience of the structural and systemic vulnerability faced by migrant women when navigating the legal process in the event of separation and divorce. As a family law practitioner and with a large client base from various Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds we also saw first-hand the barriers these women faced in navigating the migration journey away from their oft times abusive sponsors.

It was only a matter of time and a natural progression for the practice to establish itself as a full-service Migration Law and Global Mobility firm, which now excels in working with High Net Worth and Business Migrants from all over the world.

Q. Do you think the world needs more women in leadership roles?

Twenty-twenty was the year that female leadership was brought to the fore. Justina Mutale, speaker and leadership expert, and, named ‘African Woman of the Year’ speaks to this..

When women are meaningfully represented and engaged in leadership bodies—such as legislatures, courts, executive boards, community councils—laws, rulings, and decisions are more likely to be inclusive, representative, and take diverse views into account. Similarly, women’s leadership within households, including decision-making over land and household income, improves access to education and healthcare for their families.

Countries with a greater proportion of women as top decision-makers in legislatures have lower levels of income inequality. Peace agreements are 35% more likely to last at least 15 years if women leaders are engaged in its creation and execution. Besides, when women hold more executive leadership positions, their companies are more profitable: companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform the national average.

In a nutshell, organisations that are led by inclusive/female leadership make effective decisions that deliver better results. In the 21st century, the essential qualities required to lead include the ability to collaborate, connect, empathise and communicate. All these qualities are more commonly found in women and can help build a more equitable and just society.

Q. Trust is one of the most important currencies of leadership that requires authenticity and consistency to maintain. What’s your take on this?

I would wholeheartedly concur with this statement as my own journey has reiterated this time and again.

Nuanced leadership has taken on a whole new dimension post-Covid-19 and female leadership, when deliberate and purposeful, is empowering, inclusive, and uplifting for those around them. It is not always about domination and direction.

Authenticity is the only option as to be anything other than oneself is counter-intuitive and counter-productive to building long-term relationships in life and business.

The quietly powerful and their natural tendencies become leadership strengths. I have also realised that when you are authentic to your core values in business and are grounded by these, accolades and recognition come as a necessary by-product. It is not something one needs to actively seek.

Q. How do you plan to counter challenges that you think Emerson Family and Migration Law might face in the next five years?

After running my law firm for 10 years I have learnt that the only constant is change.

According to Professor Nancy Koehn of the Harvard Business School, “firms imbued with resilience don’t just survive, they thrive in the face of change and uncertainty.”

A strong sense of self allowed me to guide others through times of change and uncertainty. I have actively tried to maintain a focus of turning challenges into opportunities as after 10 years as a lawyer, my resilience muscle has strengthened quite a bit.

Our focus has been on keeping the momentum about building our profile and relationships with our individual and corporate clients. We have actively kept abreast of events around the world and connected with partners who will help Australia deal with the impending skills shortages. 

The Covid-19 recession has sharpened the focus on the role of training to help prevent labour market scarring for a generation of young Australians. Therefore, we need an equal focus on improving our immigration systems to ensure migration plays its part in our economic recovery. Skills shortages must not become the barrier to economic and business recovery from the economic disruption that is Covid-19.

Australia must get serious about better identifying skills gaps and ensuring that temporary Skilled Migration is working in tandem with a responsive education and training system.

Minister Alex Hawke MP has said, “The government sees the migration program as integral to how Australia will recover from Covid, as well as in accessing the skills that we need for the shortages that we will have in our economy,” he said.

An intelligent, informed and evidence-based migration policy can and will support Australia’s economic recovery post-Covid-19.

Q. Is there anything else you want us to highlight that we might have missed?

As long as we continue to care deeply about the lives we are changing, we will be an abundant, ever-growing empire that will leave a legacy on this planet. “Business is all about humans, truly understanding the pain points of humanity, and offering life-transforming solutions so people can be aligned with the highest versions of themselves.”

Aishwarya Somal | Director of Emerson Family and Migration Law

Aishwarya Somal provides expert counsel on immigration to Australia for both individual and corporate clients. She received the 2020 Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Young Business Person of the Year Award and is proud to promote Brisbane as the premier migration destination for aspiring Skilled, HNW, and Business Migrants. In 2021, she was inducted into the Global Law Experts panel as recommended legal counsel for Australian Immigration. Her firm also won the Acquisition International Best Boutique Migration Law Firm 2021 Australia, and has been awarded Corporate International’s Immigration Law Firm of the Year in Australia in 2022.

Aishwarya’s Law firm has also been inducted into the Queensland State Government’s Honour Roll for their work in the prevention of Domestic and Family Violence. She is also the Vice President of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, an NGO which sits in consultative status to the ECOSOC of the United Nations. Due to her efforts in safeguarding and promoting the rights of vulnerable women and children, and her team’s mammoth effort in supporting the DFAT evacuation of high-level government officials during the Taliban takeover and subsequent humanitarian crisis which ensued in Afghanistan, she was appointed by the Lady Mayoress as an Ambassador to the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust in 2021.

She is highly regarded by all levels of government and enjoys a stellar working relationship with the Department of Home Affairs, Senior Members of Parliament, Senators, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane and his team, as well as various members of the Consular Corps and industry stakeholders. 

“As long as we continue to care deeply about the lives we are changing, we will be an abundant, ever-growing empire that will leave a legacy on this planet.”