The Benefits of Being a Woman
As a lawyer with responsibility for the buying and selling of companies, Gitte Dehn Lansner deals mostly with men. Especially over time, being a woman brings its own benefits, since it means fewer testosterone-driven battles and more respect.
Now that Gitte Dehn Lansner is in her mid 40s and responsible for the buying and selling of companies at the law firm Gorrissen Federspiel, she views her gender as an advantage. Nevertheless, she is not blind to the company’s traditions and culture.
“Personally, I have never experienced discrimination, but especially for the young women, I think the industry can seem a bit heavy to deal with. Those in the firm who choose the future partners often have an emotional and biased image of a young man with a large network”. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, particularly when it comes to the hard negotiations, which are an everyday part of the job that she absolutely loves. “Between men, honour is often at stake. I think the negotiations are often easier because I’m a woman. Men don’t view me with the same rivalry as they would a male opponent. They treat me with respect. No one looks down on because I’m a woman, and I’m glad to be a good host and, for example, pour the coffee.”
Choose Your Partner with Care
As one of the few from her school in Frederikssund, Gitte first went to college, then university, and went determined after becoming a lawyer. From a young age, she was attracted by the branch’s polished floors and confident people. One the other hand, she did not have any dreams of having a lot of children. Now she has four. “It’s a crazy thought to choose not to have children, because nothing can compare to it. A workplace owes you nothing, and you can be fired tomorrow. I always remember that if anyone asks me whether not to have children because of their career. The practical things work themselves out.”
On the other hand, it is no trivial matter who you start a family with. Gitte was a lawyer in the police, and it was here that she fell for a policeman. And, very practically, he became a commanding officer with humane working hours at the same time that they had their first child.
“I drop off my children in the mornings together with all the fathers, and my husband collects them in the afternoons with all the mothers. My husband’s working hours and attitude is the key for me being able to have the work life I have. At the same time, there’s a balance between us as a couple because his job is extremely masculine.”
Love Your Job and Set Boundaries
The young version of Gitte had more dreams. Being a midwife would have been attractive if it was not for the blood and the unpredictability. When she applied to university, Gitte had psychology and art history as her second and third priorities, as well as an idea of herself as a museum director.
“It’s important to use common sense when choosing an education. Nothing is just fun, and certainly not studying law. But it’s about the possibilities you have afterwards. On the other hand, you have to choose your job with your heart, because you put a lot of hours into it over many years.
At the law firm Gorrissen Federspiel, Gitte Dehn Lansner is one of the ones who leaves early, because she wants to be home and eat with her children at 6 o’clock. Then she often continues working at 9 o’clock when they are sleeping. It is rare that her colleagues and clients need her in those hours.
“I have never been frowned at for going home, because I can easily take care of my job in any case. I want to be with my children, and we also still have lots of friends that we see. Limitations are often only in our own heads. Decide what you want and can do, and tell your work place.”