With a goal of inspiring others
In terms of her career, Charlotte Thorsen is a perfect role model and, at just 33 years old, is already a partner in a large law firm. Professionally, her goal is to become a beacon by being the best in her field.
“I’m a competitive person and a really bad loser. I’m also a normal person, so if someone cheats or gets slack about the rules of a game, I get stressed.”
In this context, the definition of stress should be taken with a grain of salt, because Charlotte Thorsen says it with a laugh and isn’t the stressed type. She works hard and, as the oldest of three sisters, has always striven to be the best. In addition, she wants to inspire others.
“In my industry, it’s particularly important to inspire the younger women. In general there are only a few young female partners, and this is probably in part because many women find it difficult to see themselves in a partner role after having children. I want to show that it is possible to have both a career as a female partner and a good and balanced family life.”
Equality at home
Equality is firmly established in the home of Charlotte Thorsen. She is pregnant with her first child and the couple are taking 6 months of parental leave each. They have been together since high school and relax with active holidays ranging from running a marathon in New York to mountaineering on Borneo.
“We have worked together the whole way and agreed on priorities. My husband is also ambitious but in an industry with less work pressure. It’s a question of knowing your strengths – even when choosing your qualifications. The subject should interest you, but it’s an advantage if your strengths also match the course.”
In her childhood, Charlotte dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, but John Grisham’s books about the world of lawyers crept in under her skin. In high school it became clear that law would be the right qualification for her, and in her diary from that time she also wrote that she wanted to become a “super lawyer”.
Professionalism and business sense
At law school, she became interested in commercial and corporate law, and at the law firm of Gorrissen Federspiel she quickly found her direction as an M&A lawyer, which involves her handling the buying and selling of companies. In January 2017, she was invited to become a partner.
“I had indicated that I wanted to be a partner but had understood it would take several years, so I was pleased and surprised when I was offered a partnership in 2017. I work hard and a lot, but I certainly haven’t walked over other people to get here, so I don’t feel anyone has been put out that I’ve become a partner at such a young age.”
Strong professional competence is a prerequisite for becoming a partner, but it also requires business sense and the ability to sell. Charlotte Thorsen ventures to say she is skilled in these areas – because she knows this is true, but she also knows where she’s had to learn how to lean in.
“Over the years, I have become comfortable in the role of advisor and have learned to lead, but I have been more uncertain about my ability to create business. I try to do this in my own way, where instead of selling directly I try to build relationships that lead to assignments.”