Monday, 8 March 2021
East Midlands enterprising women: Glynis Wright MBE
From legal and finance to logistics and housing, a wide range of sectors in the East Midlands are blessed with an even more diverse set of female talent in senior positions. To celebrate International Women's Day 2021 on 8 March, East Midlands Chamber profiles the inspiring stories behind 10 of the region's top enterprising women throughout the week.
At the age of 40, Glynis Wright MBE took what she believed would be the biggest risk of her life.
In fact, her decision to leave the relative safety net of an economic development officer job within Leicestershire County Council to return to university and study law was just the first of a series of “meteoric leaps”.
Despite being fast-tracked to partner shortly within three years of qualifying as a solicitor, it wasn’t long before Glynis sacrificed comfort once more in the pursuit of something bigger in setting up her own Leicester-based family law firm.
In December last year, after growing Glynis Wright & Co to a £1.1m turnover business with a team of 19, another fork in the road presented itself as she sold her shares to top 200 law firm Nelsons, which she has joined as partner to head up its Leicester family law department.
“If someone had told me at 40 what was going to happen then I’d never have believed them in a million years,” says Glynis, whose son Ben was 13 when she started her two-year LPC conversion course at De Montfort University.
“Both law and business have changed me so much. When I left local government, I thought it was the scariest thing I’d ever do with my life to give up a career, make myself unemployed and borrow a load of money so I could retrain without any certainty of having a training contract as a lawyer – when I had a mortgage to pay and a child.
“As it turned out, it was simply the first of a number of meteoric leaps I was going to make.”
How Glynis Wright MBE set up a business aged 40
It should perhaps have come as no surprise she would take the decision to go into business in her 40s, seven years after leaving the council, as a “chip off the old block” of her late father Charles, a former police officer who had set up a business in his 60s to train Abu Dhabi police in the ways of British forensic science.
It was Charles who loaned Glynis the £10,000 that would allow her to set up a business in 2011, some of the money used to buy furniture from Wilko for her office reception.
She managed to pay it back within the first year and, by 2017, Glynis Wright & Co had achieved £1m revenue, winning law firm of the year at the national Law Society Excellence Awards in 2018.
“My dad taught me you can reinvent yourself to do whatever you want to be,” says Glynis, who served as the 2019/20 president of the Leicestershire Law Society and received her MBE in December 2020 for her work in promoting female entrepreneurship.
“Even when I was made a partner shortly after qualifying, I just felt I had the ability to run my own small business so I had to do it.
“A lot of people think you need a lot of money or help to set up a business but in reality you can do it with next to nothing.”
Despite becoming as passionate about business as law, Glynis isn’t sad about selling her shares to Nelsons, which has absorbed all her team and now boasts one of the region’s largest family law teams.
“It’s brilliant because every business owner has to have an exit strategy and the delightful thing for me is I can still benefit from the sale of a success business and have a career as a partner in a brilliant regional law firm,” she adds.
Glynis Wright MBE is one of the main speakers at the Enterprising Women network’s International Women’s Day celebration event on 12 March. For more information, click here.
This story features in the March edition of Business Network, which has a special enterprising women theme. To read the magazine, click here.Back