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Work ethics, motivation, and cooking for guests: Rita Gupta on Unity 101 Radio Respect Hour with Aryana Neo

LGFL Managing Director Rita Gupta was on Unity 101 Radio this week, celebrating women’s achievements across cultures in the Respect Hour with Aryana Neo.

 

 

Or read on!

 

00:00:02 Aryana Neo: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to Respect on Unity 101 Radio with me, Aryana Neo, where we celebrate women who blend cultural pride with professional triumphs, from those breaking barriers to those nurturing families while scaling career highlights.

Respect brings their inspiring stories to the forefront, and our aim is to inspire and empower by showcasing resilience, determination, and the power of maintaining cultural identities and professional success. So join us in honouring these extraordinary achievements across cultures right here on Respect.

Now today, my guest is Rita Gupta. Rita Gupta is a managing director of LGFL Ltd, a boutique family law firm based in Reading, but she advises clients nationwide and internationally. She is listed on the Legal 500 and ranked in Chambers and Partners. She's known for her holistic approach to family law and has extensive media experience from TV, radio and newspaper articles. She is passionate about supporting talent in the law and to promote greater diversity in the legal profession.

Welcome to Unity 101 Radio, Rita.

 

00:01:09 Rita Gupta: Good afternoon, Aryana. Thank you for having me.

 

00:01:12 Aryana Neo: Oh, thank you so much for being on. Honestly, it's amazing to be able to speak to women of your calibre. So just to let the listeners know and also just about the show here, we're going to talk about your childhood first, and then we'll move on to your professional journey and then what you're doing at present.

So let's start off with your childhood, if that's okay, Rita. If you could let us know a little bit about yourself, but where your parents were born and where you were born.

 

00:01:38 Rita Gupta: My parents are from the Punjab, so my father was from Jandiala, and my mum was from a village called Kukurpind, which everybody in my life finds absolutely hilarious.

So they came from they came in the sixties, but my grandfather first came I think in the late 40s, 50s. They came to Nottingham and that's where I grew up until I went to university. Since then, I studied in central London and then I moved to Reading when I got married.
So yeah, we're HP as they say or Hindi Punjabi.

 

00:02:12 Aryana Neo: HP, absolutely. I'm an HP as well, so I know that term well. So can you tell us any wonderful childhood memories you have from anywhere that you were during that time?

 

00:02:25 Rita Gupta: Well, life's really changed from growing up in the 70s and 80s.
You know, it was very different. I think communities were much stronger. And I think if I remember, the good days out in the childhood were not perhaps what children have today. They weren't as privileged. But they were just as much fun. I remember doing picnics at Newstead Abbey, taking the whole, Indian dinner with us.

So we'd have Sholay, Puduray, Samosay, and sitting outside having a feast, that sort of thing. It was brilliant. And meeting with a lot of family friends or family members and going on large occasions out, just for no reason at all, really. The sense of community really is an important memory for me.

And I also remember my dad's best friend was from Leeds and we spent a lot of time together going to their house or them staying with us and just doing lots of things together. Those simple things, Aryana, not very glam, I’m not from a wealthy background. So, we didn't travel abroad.

 

00:03:34 Aryana Neo: I understand like simple things. And it's even better what you're saying, from a humble beginning. And that is why we'd love to talk to women like you are here on Respect. So what kind of school did you attend then? And did you have a best friend?

 

00:03:48 Rita Gupta: Oh, well, my school was pretty awful, I'll be honest with you. So it was the local school, a state school. You know, looking back again, growing up in the seventies and eighties, it was quite white. And we were really very much the minority.

If I think back to the racism that we suffered then, things have moved on quite considerably. I was really studious. You know, my parents are the three pounds in your pocket (generation). Their view was to encourage us in our education and to be a professional. But I would say that most people around me didn't have the same view.

o, it was not easy. Our family values were different from the people in my class and the children in my class. There was a couple of people who stand out to me, my childhood, a girl called Natasha at my secondary school.

And when I went to a state local sixth form a lady called Renuka, a South Asian woman who's done amazingly well and has her own dentist surgery. So, she's done really well as well. I would say that school was tough in those times. It really was.

It wasn't my best period of my life, I would say. For me, school was a means to an end. It was to get my education, but I didn't really enjoy school. I really came into my own in sixth form college when I thought people were more focused and it wasn't, you know, uncool to want to do well.

 

00:05:16 Aryana Neo: No, 100 percent and obviously having those hard times would have input into the woman you are today. So, you know, even though it was really hard back in the 70s and 80s, I'm sorry to hear that.

 

00:05:27 Rita Gupta: It was just so different. I think if you ask anybody who grew up since in my generation (I've just turned 50), they would say the things that were said to them at school or what they were exposed to was just very different. It wasn't subtle at all!

 

00:05:43 Aryana Neo: Well, hopefully things have changed a little bit now.

 

00:05:46 Rita Gupta: I hope that too. I think they have moved on definitely, but it was just different times.

 

00:05:50 Aryana Neo: Did you have a favourite teacher when you were at school? Did you confide in anyone, one of the teachers there?

 

00:05:58 Rita Gupta: I think that my favourite teacher was an English teacher. I was very average academically until I got to secondary school, when I just became very motivated to do well.I had an English teacher who recognised my drive and really encouraged me. I loved English, and she would always go out of her way to support me. I would say that I remember her most.

 

00:06:23 Aryana Neo: Oh, I love that. The inspiring people that keep you going and teachers have such a good job.
So that's great to hear.

 

00:06:34 Rita Gupta: I didn't do any law until university. So English and history I'd say were my subjects. I write well. I like writing. So I think that it's sort of anything that was sort of essay based were my subjects.

 

00:06:46 Aryana Neo: Oh, okay. And what one did you like the least? Can we ask that?

 

00:06:50 Rita Gupta: Geography. I hated the geography teacher. He was awful. And I have no sense of direction! I wasn't remotely interested in it, basically. So, I just was bored. Teachers are important.

 

00:07:03 Aryana Neo: Teachers are so important, aren't they?
And they really make the class. So, you've got teachers, but when you were younger as well, did you have any heroes or role models as well?

 

00:07:25 Rita Gupta: Do you know what?
I can't really think of one person. I'd say they were themes of, you know, strong women. Strong, independent women who I would look at and think, gosh, I want to be like them. I like the fact that they're not dependent on people. They have a good career. They're well educated. So it was more the characteristics, I'd say.

I was a bit of an early feminist you know, I didn't want to fit into the traditional role perhaps of what people or society around me in the seventies and eighties thought an Asian woman should be doing.
So anyone who I would see and think, “Gosh, they're really strong characters” - strong and glam - would appeal to me.

 

00:08:10 Aryana Neo: Strong and glam is exactly what I love. An early feminist! I love that you were that, even when you were younger. So moving on from school you went to university, you said. How did you decide that law was the way to go?

 

00:08:21 Rita Gupta: I was about 12 and I saw something on the TV and it was probably the very typical barrister in a wig and gown, but I liked the argument that they put forward and I thought, do you know what? I'd be good at that. So initially I wanted to be a barrister. And so I thought, right, I'm going to do a law degree.

But I think as I went down the process, and learned more about it, I just thought with my family connections and very humble roots, it wasn't going to be, it wasn't going to work for me. So I decided to train as a solicitor instead. I went to the London School of Economics and studied a straight law degree.
Then I did my postgraduate diploma, which was the LPC as they call it back in Nottingham.

 

00:09:04 Aryana Neo: Well, that's great. And it's led you to this path, which is incredible. So in what ways did your upbringing serve you, (as) your foundation for your future achievements?

 

00:09:16 Rita Gupta: Well, I think, you know, anyone whose families are immigrants, they come with a very strong work ethic. I would say that's something that I've had throughout my life. I'm not one of these people who are charmed and that everything comes to them easily. Everything I have to work really hard for.

So I think my parents instilling that work ethic and the value of education was very important and it's something that I think I passed on to my son. My father used to always say, you know, money comes and goes, but no one can take your education away from you. I do believe that.

He was very supportive in those days for me to go all the way from Nottingham to London to study, so he was quite forward thinking. I think my parents really instilled respect; respect for elders, respect for our community members. And I think that's something that I have carried on with (and) stayed with me in my professional career. Conducting yourself in a dignified way would be something that my parents would promote to me, and I think I've carried that through. They are personality traits of mine.

 

00:10:24 Aryana Neo: Talking of respect, obviously, just to remind listeners, you are listening to Respect with me, Aryana Neo.
And here I have Rita Gupta, who is the Managing Director of her own boutique family law firm based in Reading called LGFL Limited. And you advise clients nationally and internationally, don't you?

 

00:10:41 Rita Gupta: Absolutely, yes, on all areas of family law.

 

00:10:44 Aryana Neo: I love that. So, going on to a professional journey then, what dreams and goals did you have for your life once you graduated?

 

00:10:52 Rita Gupta: I decided that the bar wasn't going to be an option for me. Right. You know, it's great to see now that there are more South Asians qualifying as barristers and perhaps a lot of those obstacles have been removed. But I wanted to qualify as a solicitor and you know, and by then I'd done a lot of work experience.

So it was always for me, either family (law) or crime. And crime is a difficult career when you want to have a family. So I decided on family law. I have to say it was not as easy as I thought it was going to be when I was younger. It was very difficult. For any of your listeners who want to train as solicitors, (it’s difficult) to get the training contracts. I think I must have submitted about 300 applications.

 

00:11:40 Aryana Neo: It’s good to obviously let people know the realistic things that you've got to do. What was your first professional job then after that, once you've applied?

 

00:11:53 Rita Gupta: I was a paralegal at a firm in Middlesex where I focused on domestic abuse work and worked closely with some women's organisations, including Asian Women's Refuge.

 

00:12:12 Aryana Neo: Wow, that's incredible. And you said obviously professional, so did you have another job?

 

00:12:17 Rita Gupta: My first job (was) when I was about 11. In Nottingham was an indoor market. I used to work on my aunt's indoor market stall selling makeup. You know, getting paid an absolute pittance. But for me at the time, it was sort of me being independent and being able to buy things on my own. And in fact, actually I worked probably every Christmas and summer throughout my education.

 

00:12:47 Aryana Neo: I think that's good. And you know, it instils some good stuff into you and you're working hard. You mentioned you went into family law because you wanted to start a family yourself and the pressures of that.

So can I ask you, how did you meet your partner then? Are they in the legal profession as well?

 

00:13:05 Rita Gupta: No, they're not, thank God, because I think we just argue and be too competitive with each other. After university, my parents did ask me had I met anybody that I wanted to marry. I hadn't. There used to be, (I think there still is actually), a temple list whereby it's sort of anonymised, probably as some sort of dating agency almost, and we were sort of introduced.

We didn't meet with parents, so we didn't do the whole walking in, shaking with a tray of tea or anything, and we sort of met on our own. I think I sent my sister in first to vet him just to check that he was okay. And then we met and chatted. And then we really hit it off.

My husband's quite progressive. And that was really important for me because I have always been incredibly independent. I needed to ensure that I didn't marry somebody too traditional and there had to be someone who would support my career aims. We met on May the 8th and we got married September the 27th the same year. So it was really fast. But we've been married 25 and a half years. So clearly there's no formula.

 

00:14:19 Aryana Neo: my goodness. Happy anniversary in a couple of days then because it's very soon.

 

00:14:23 Rita Gupta: So we just celebrated our silver wedding anniversary last year.

 

00:14:28 Aryana Neo: Oh, that's lovely. What a lovely story. And you had a family together, I assume?

 

00:14:34 Rita Gupta: We've got one son who's 17.

 

00:14:41 Aryana Neo: Do you want him to be a fellow lawyer?

 

00:14:44 Rita Gupta: Well, he's not taking over LGFL! He says family law's a bit awkward, was the word he used.
He is interested in the bar, but I said to him, you need to ensure that you make that decision yourself and that you're not influenced by me. I would say if they want to be a lawyer, they should go and do some work experience and make sure actually that it's what they think it is and not perhaps the impression that they've got from the media.

00:15:13 Aryana Neo: Yes, all, all the TV shows. So as a working mum, what was the best parts of raising your child?

 

00:15:24 Rita Gupta: It's massive amounts of juggling. I think the reason I went self-employed was because I wanted to make sure that I had some flexibility with my child so that I didn't miss concerts and I could pick him up and that he wasn't in lots and lots of childcare. Law, traditionally, isn’t the best for that. I found that when I worked part time, I essentially worked full time, but just got paid for part time wages.

You know, it's the best adventure as a mother you'll ever have in your life. I've enjoyed every moment of it, but you know, it is difficult balancing it with a career. Whether you decide to stay at home and be a full-time mum, or you decide to go to work and do both.
There's no judgment either way, but I think you've just got to make it work the best that it can for you and your family. I think he respects and quite likes the fact that I work.

 

00:16:24 Aryana Neo: I've worked in law as well and you do see the women like yourself who have reached the peak. It’s incredible that you've been a mother and you've also done that alongside and it is a struggle as you mentioned.

 

00:16:40 Rita Gupta: It’s not easy and I don't think anyone should convey that it is easy. It's not. There's times when you come and you think, Oh God, should I have done that better there or should I have done that better there? And I think it's just probably being a bit kind to yourself and saying, you know, sometimes you can't do it all.

 

00:16:55 Aryana Neo: And how did you like make a work life balance then for yourself?

 

00:17:00 Rita Gupta: I'll be honest with you, my first focus is always my family and my child. Being self-employed has given me that flexibility. I'm not sure if I'd stayed working for a firm whether I would have that. It does often mean that I log on after hours when I've collected him or made dinner for everyone, and set him on his homework path.

It's easier as they get a bit older to some extent, although he needs a little bit of a nag sometimes there and then. Then I'll go up and sort of work slightly erratic hours. So today I did work this morning, I must say, because I've got a busy week ahead. We're sort of working on it.

He’s approaching mock exams. So I think you just have to be really flexible. Someone said to me once, “You know, sometimes good enough is just good enough”. You just can't hit perfection on everything.

But just for me, I am very focused on my child.
My child will always come first. My career is very important. I'll be honest with you. I don't think I've got the balance perfectly right. I think the only person who's perhaps suffered from all that is maybe me, which is something I'm working on. But I don't think there's any magic formula. So, sometimes you just have to think that is good enough.

 

00:18:14 Aryana Neo: I absolutely love your honesty with that because I think people need to know the trials and tribulations of a working mother. And how do you think your upbringing helped you with, with your life now?

 

00:18:26 Rita Gupta: Work ethic, definitely. I never ever take anything for granted whether it's my client referrals, my friendships, I think you have to work at it.
I've always had to work for everything. I'm just not one of these charmed people who, you know, everything comes to. That's not me. If I found five pounds, I'd lose thirty pounds another way. It's just the way it is. So that work ethic just comes naturally to me. And I think I've really instilled that in my child.

I've said to him, you know, there's no entitlement here. You are much more fortunate given the upbringing that I've had. However, these university places, these jobs, they, they're going to come with hard work. I have a lot of interns, I mentor a lot of young lawyers, and I'm so impressed by a work ethic. Even if they've said, you know, throughout university, I worked at the local coffee shop, I think that's great because it showed me that you've had to work for something.

So I think that work ethic resilience is absolutely the resilience you need. I think it's something that this generation maybe struggle with a little bit, and you have to take the knocks. I think I'm a resilient person, but I think my parents always really encouraged us to do a lot for other people.
If 10 people turned up for dinner, my mum would just make them dinner. And I think that kindness and community focus is with us. I mean, if five people said they were coming in an hour, I'd whip something up for them. It's that whole connecting with food that Asian communities have.

 

00:20:13 Aryana Neo: I love that you can whip up a meal for ten people.

 

00:20:19 Rita Gupta: Well, I have no portion control, you see, so I just make food and it's always too much!

 

00:20:26 Aryana Neo: I love that. So anyone that's just joining, you're listening to the Respect Show with me, Aryana Neo.
We’re celebrating women and I am talking to Rita Gupta, who is the managing director of her own firm, LGFL Limited, a boutique family law firm based in Reading, and she advises clients nationwide and internationally.

So Rita, I want to move on to the present now. So, can you tell us, what does a typical day look like for you now?

00:20:53 Rita Gupta: Well, I think I'm probably a little bit of a swan at the moment, so it looks all calm and serene on the surface, but underneath, I'm sort of paddling away. So, I'm usually up pretty early, about six. I tend to make breakfast for my son. I do like to promote healthy eating, especially I think when people are going through things like exams, it's really important.

I think that if you eat rubbish, you feel rubbish. So I'll make breakfast and pack lunches with a protein element. I then go to work and the first thing that I do about 7.30am is have a quick look at my emails and check my social media, check if there's new cases, check if there's any relevant articles.

When I get to the office, the first thing I do is have a team meeting where I call my trainees in, my assistant in, and we talk about the priorities for the day. Family law is quite an emotive and stressful area of law to work it with. I think particularly younger lawyers really struggle to prioritise and they're never going to have an empty inbox.

So one of the things that I do as part of my mentoring is, is help them prioritise and say, well, you're never going to finish that today, but you know, by the end of today, aim for X, Y, and Z. And also, I say to them, if any of you are stuck with anything or if you want me to, you know, speak to me. I have an open door policy.

I also share my meetings with my trainees and assistants, so that they're all getting the same level of experience. So, they're all getting to sit in on client meetings, or we look ahead at court hearings, and check that everybody's getting that experience.

I try and take 20 to 30 minutes for lunch. It's not always possible. And I try, if I can, to walk just in nature for at least 10 minutes to clear my head. I find that it makes a huge difference. It's something I promote to the team, so they don't eat at their desks as well. I think it's really important. We've got a little chill out zone.
We call it the hub and I try and make them go and walk away from their desks.

I can finish anywhere between six and seven. And as soon as I come home, I'll basically be cooking. I'll cook a meal - I've often prepped it before the weekend or batch cooked something.
There will always be something non-processed and fresh on the table. It might not always be the best or the most, not a very posh meal or anything, but it's always something non-processed, fresh. on the table.

Then I tend to sit with my son and say, right, what again, what have you got to get through today? What do we need to do? Do you need any help with anything? And then often when he's doing his homework, I might log back on and do a little bit of work or, you know, go through the other things that I have to do.

You know, my mother's quite old. She's very frail at the moment. So I think, do I need to touch base with my sister about her care?
Is there anything else I need to do? It's busy. I'm not going to lie to you. These days I blink and my day's gone. That's a work day. Weekends I am trying not to work. That's my objective this year is trying to reduce the amount of hours I work in a weekend.

 

00:24:03 Aryana Neo: Everyone needs rest. And I mean, you do have an absolutely jam-packed day.
So obviously during the day in your working day and you're in your law firm, obviously family law takes in a lot of areas. Can you maybe talk about what you do in your day within the law firm?

 

00:24:18 Rita Gupta: Absolutely. It's a really, really broad area. So obviously you've got the standard divorce, people who are wanting divorce or people who are cohabiting couples and have ended up separating.
In many ways it's more complicated for them because they don't have as much protection in the law.

I deal with a lot of complex children issues and a lot of complex financial issues. So I am looking at quite a lot of spreadsheets, bank statements, et cetera. We deal with things like prenuptial agreements, and domestic abuse. Our main specialism at the moment is for family breakdown when there are special needs, either with the parents, but mostly the children.
So, for example, autism or any other disability and how we ensure that they're provided for when the family breaks down.

 

00:25:18 Rita Gupta: Nobody goes into family law for the money. You go because you're passionate about people. I got better at compartmentalising it, but I think the difference is I co-own the practice. So it's my baby, with client services at the heart of that. I don't think any good family law firm can do this dispassionately. I don't think you're a good family lawyer if you do, unless you carry it to some extent, but you have to compartmentalise and put boundaries in.

So one of the things I've started to do is limiting the interaction or family advice, law advice I give outside of the office. So that I can at least have that break and it gives me better perspective, but it just puts boundaries in place.
I think that's really important. And that is a skill you learn over time.

 

00:26:17 Aryana Neo: Boundaries definitely are key so that's important and so you've talked about your day which is busy as we know and incredible and you mentor people, if people turned up at your house you would feed them. So how do you manage to find time to serve the community?
I know you do mentor as well, but is there anything else that you do?

 

00:26:33 Rita Gupta: I do little ways. There’s a couple of schools that we do the careers fairs for. We did create some documents for them such as a flow chart so that they could see the different pathways to law.
We might sponsor a local raffle. We might sponsor the Swallowfield show. We might donate to a local charity. At Christmas, we tend to focus on local charities that have need just because, you know, the last few years it's been very difficult for people. So we tend to link in with food banks or organisations who are looking after underprivileged families in this local area.

So, yeah. In little and small ways. It doesn't have to be the biggest thing that you do, but a lot of it is focussed around mentoring and opening up the profession for greater diversity. That’s something that I feel really passionately about, because I don't think I had that. Sometimes if you're from a local state school or you've got families who, you know, are not professionals or not in law, it's difficult.

It’s difficult to know which path to take, and now there are so many different pathways to the law. The other week I was chatting to somebody in Waitrose, and the young lady wants to be a lawyer. And I was so impressed by her. You know, I gave her a couple of days work experience so she could have an insight and she was coming up to doing her personal statements.
I wanted her to have that on her statement. So I think it's just in little ways.

 

00:28:07 Aryana Neo: Owning your own profession is also amazing because you're able to offer that work experience, but it's so good that you make time for all of these things and you're still serving your community, which is amazing.
You said you wanted to be potentially a barrister when you were younger, and then you've gone into family law. How have your dreams and goals changed throughout your life?

 

00:28:30 Rita Gupta: I think that I would say the law's been constant, but the role has evolved.
The role of any lawyer has evolved with email, et cetera, and remote working, but I've never thought that I should have taken a different career path. I think (things) though, I've learned to seek balance and contentment more, while as you get older rather than always wanting the thrills and, and everything to be always dramatic.

I really aim for, for balance. I've also just had a much greater urge to travel, which I don't think I had as much when I was younger, I think probably because we didn't go on sort of international holidays, I hadn't really been exposed to any of it. I want to do really well with my career, but I think as I've got older, you know, the urge to want to travel and one of my dreams is to go to as many countries as I can, while I can.

 

00:29:23 Aryana Neo: That's something I would love to do. I'd get around the world more. Do you have a personal philosophy of life?

 

00:29:34 Rita Gupta: I think probably that kindness is key. I think whatever happens to you, I think you too need to focus on being a kind person. I think at some point it'll always come back to you, but you have to live by a set of values.

You know, kindness can be in very small, probably quite uneventful ways, but I would say that kindness is key, is key and not having a sense of entitlement that these things should come to you and that you deserve them regardless of putting the effort in.

 

00:30:08 Aryana Neo: You mentioned a couple of things that your dad had said to you. What was the best piece of advice you'd been given?

 

00:30:20 Rita Gupta: Probably about my education as opposed to money, because when you grow up in humble settings, you can always think “I want to have a really big house when I'm older or have a sports car and do X, Y, and Z.”

The best piece of advice that he gave me was to focus on my education because I would say my education has been the foundations of where I am today. And it's given me the financial independence that I have. I've just done my first solo holiday to Italy and you know, it's given me all of those. You have the ability to do that, but also the confidence to do it.

 

00:31:00 Aryana Neo: Did you not go on a solo holiday before?

 

00:31:11 Rita Gupta: No, I went with friends or with family. This was completely solo and it was fantastic.

 

00:31:16 Aryana Neo: Oh my goodness. That's, that's quite brave, you know, to go on a solo holiday.

 

00:31:21 Rita Gupta: It was really great. I have to say, it was nice to do everything at your pace and not to have to have to factor in someone else's wishes. It was quite liberating. I'll definitely do it again.

 

00:31:32 Aryana Neo: Oh, I love that. I wish I could get the confidence to do that one day. Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self?

 

00:31:45 Rita Gupta: I think looking back, I've worried about things that are so irrelevant now. I think probably not to worry so much about what other people think about me or what I think they think about me, because it's all largely irrelevant. Sometimes as life moves on, when they say friends are for a reason, a season or for life, you know, the things you've worried about, those people aren't even in your life.
So I think I probably spent far too much time worrying about that, when I was younger.

 

00:32:12 Aryana Neo: Yeah, I like that. A reason, a season, or for life. So thank you for that. What do you consider the most important aspect of living a good life?

 

00:32:33 Rita Gupta: I think that balance is incredibly important. You know, your work life balance. I know when the balance is wrong, and I do tend to suffer for it. I think your health is key because it doesn't matter what accolades you have, how much money you have, how good your career is.
If your health is not there, then you're not going to enjoy any of those experiences.

And I also think self-care and love. It’s very easy as women, especially mothers, to think you're being selfish if you do something for yourself. But actually, I think it makes you a better, you know, mother, wife, daughter, if you are also focusing on yourself.

 

00:33:12 Aryana Neo: Yeah, wow, great piece of advice. As an accomplished woman how have you maintained strong family ties and cultural values while pursuing your professional success?

 

00:33:26 Rita Gupta: Well, I'm always going to be a British Asian! We are connected as a family. The language I've kept up to date with, although it's probably with an English accent. I always speak to my elders in British English. I still make Asian food. We still celebrate occasions.

Christmas, everyone's coming to me and it's about connecting, keeping the connections. That generation, they don't want you just to send them a text. They want you to go and see them. They want you to go and talk to them. And I think it's really important to keep those family ties and some of those community values

going. Loneliness is such a big thing, particularly with the older generation. And it's so important that you just give them a little bit of time.

 

00:34:15 Aryana Neo: That is so true. And it's definitely food for thought for people as well. Can you share some insights on how your current role as, you know, a mother, a caregiver and how that's shaped your life?

 

00:34:28 Rita Gupta: I think being a mother makes you less selfish anyway. I think it makes you worried for the rest of your life. I never forget, my son was a few days late and the night before he was born, I was fed up. My mum said to me, enjoy this evening, it will be the last time in your life that you don't worry about someone else more than yourself.

And she was absolutely right, because when you have a child, all you want to do is just make them as happy as possible. But being a parent comes with lots of worries as well. I wouldn't want to grow up in this Instagram, TikTok generation. I think that would be stressful.

My mum is quite elderly, she's very frail. She had a stroke last year and she's recently just had a fall. I think my upbringing has made it really important that we support our elderly generation. I think the way I was brought up, it was our responsibility and our duty.

And whilst for some people, they might not be able to go as far as others, it's not a competition. I think just recognising the importance of the support and the sacrifices that generation made for us. They came with three pounds in their pocket, and they always put us and our education first.
I think that we owe something back to them.

 

00:35:54 Aryana Neo: Yeah, no, that's, that's so lovely. Your achievements, do they symbolise the culmination of your life's journey at all? And in what ways?

 

00:36:06 Rita Gupta: I think the hard work is. I've just accepted as a theme.
As I said, nothing's ever going to come easy to me. But then, when you've worked hard for something, it feels good anyway. Just being the best person I possibly can, taking time out. if somebody wants to speak to me about a career in law or wants me to help them do a document.

Just trying to take a few minutes out for people - I think I've always done that and I will always try to do that. Admittedly the busier you get you can't perhaps do as much as you think you should, or other people want you to. But just taking time out for others and that work ethic has stayed with me throughout, and I try to instill that with my son.

 

00:36:57 Aryana Neo: Yeah, so obviously hard work is the theme. But what other thing do you think has remained consistent about you throughout your life?

 

00:37:10 Rita Gupta: I think my family values. I like having people around me. I think growing up in that generation, you always have people coming around. I'm very sociable, and I like connecting with people.
I like people coming over, I like going to their houses, I like going out and about. So, I think there's friendship and community ties. And my dad was very sociable.

 

00:37:35 Aryana Neo: This has been such an interesting interview with you, Rita. Thank you so much for being on the Reflection today.
It's been absolutely wonderful. You have done amazing things. So, just a heartfelt thank you from me to you.

 

00:37:50 Rita Gupta: You're very welcome, Aryana. Thank you so much for having me.

 

00:37:53 Aryana Neo: Thank you. So, as we draw today's episode to a close, I want to extend obviously a heartfelt thank you again to Rita. She was an incredible guest.

Your journey, your insights and the challenges you've overcome are just inspiring. And they're not just inspiring. They're a beacon of hope and strength for so many listening. So your contribution today is not only enriched our show, but has undoubtedly empowered and motivated our listeners across the globe.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us on Respect. It's voices like yours that make this program a source of inspiration and a celebration of women's achievements everywhere.