"Embrace your passions" Sara Schroter CDir, General Counsel, Mertius Trust
Sara Schroter is Co-Chair, IoD Bermuda and Managing Director, Corporate & General Counsel at Meritus Trust Company in Bermuda. She comes from a family of strong women and joined the IoD to build her confidence, fight off imposter syndrome and influence change.
“My mother tells a story from when I was four when I was playing badminton and insisted on knowing all the rules of the game. From then on, I think I was always destined to be a lawyer. Earlier in my career I worked in financial services but moved to trust law about five years ago. I really enjoy helping families resolve issues and make informed decisions.
Personally, I was inspired by strong women in my family, including my grandma who set up her own international fashion business, and my mother who had a successful modelling career. My father was a kind, gentleman who taught me to be humble and was an important role model for me. In my view, a good mentor is someone who believes in you for who you are and allows you to be your authentic self.
I find it amazing that women, and particularly women of colour, still face many barriers in business. In Bermuda more women have degrees than men, but more men than women hold influential positions on boards. The experiences girls have from a very young age can influence their leadership potential, so my goal is to inspire girls. I am privileged to sit as a Trustee on the board of the Bermuda High School for Girls where we are implementing a strategy to encourage future girl leaders.
If I was to give an 18 year old careers advice, it would be to not to take yourself too seriously and maintain your curiosity. Also, to embrace your passions, meet people and travel because these experiences will set the parameters for how you see the world going forward.
I was recommended to join the IoD by one of my mentors who had undertaken the Chartered Director Programme. I became the first female Chartered Director in Bermuda and, alongside my education, experience and network, this qualification gives me the confidence to step into a boardroom. It helps me fight off imposter syndrome.
We know that to run a good board you need lots of different voices in the room and these voices must come from people with different backgrounds. I am very proud that Bermuda’s IoD membership is 48% female membership, which is well above the average for the IoD, but there is still a long way to go to translate this diversity onto boards.
The IoD has a powerful voice, whether that’s to influence Government or change boardroom culture and I see being part of the IoD as an opportunity to encourage companies to function better.”
Hear more from Sara Schroter on the IoD Role Model Podcast.