Inside Knowledge:

How woman can thrive in professional service firms

"Alison's new book Inside Knowledge provides practical guidance for women working in professional service firms who aspire to achieve their full potential in what have traditionally been male working environments."


About The Book

Inside Knowledge provides practical guidance for women working in professional service firms who aspire to achieve their full potential in what have traditionally been male working environments. It asks why the proportion of female partners leading these firms is so low, and considers what women can do to address this imbalance and achieve the results commensurate with their knowledge, skills, experience and talent.

"Alison’s experience and passion shines through in this book. Insightful and practical, Inside Knowledge is a  comprehensive guide to the influences on career success in professional service firms. It is an essential read for any woman who wants to understand more about how to get ahead without compromising what she stands for.”

Jo Dooley, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Allen & Overy

What Readers Are Saying

Jane Barratt

Internal career development is often left to chance but this book guides the reader on how to develop your career within an organisation. Ali shows you how to achieve what you want and she opens the reader's eyes to what is really going on within organisations when it comes to career progression. This book is useful to men and women but women are often less aware of how to navigate the internal routes to promotion so often need more guidance in being politically savvy. Thanks Ali for sharing your knowledge - I will be suggesting my clients read your book.

Jackie Gittins

Having spent twenty years of my career in professional services I really wish this helpful book was available to me early on in my career. Alison has combined insights experience and data alongside useful exercises to help guide the readers through navigating a complex and dynamic environment in which to thrive personally and professionally. This is a MUST read for any male or female leaders looking to lead teams and develop their leadership knowhow.

Sufi Rahimi

Inside Knowledge has taught me to treat my personal progression with the same importance as the work I do on a daily basis. The novel explores some of the challenges that face women in professional service firms and provides tips, exercises and advice on how to succeed in these environments. I would highly recommend Inside Knowledge. It is a definitely a book I will be rereading throughout my career as I progress.

Julie Gottlieb

An insightful, practical guide that will inspire all professional women. Alison Temperley not only offers clarity and insight into what it takes for women to succeed in professional services firms, she does it in an accessible, “tell it how it is” style that women at all stages of their career will instantly relate to and enjoy.

Harry Puckering

Although written for women who want to progress in professional service firms (accountancy, law, consultancy), this book will be of real use to any hardworking, intelligent and ambitious person who wants to get on in their own organisation. It will also be invaluable to any L&D professional who (bucking the trend of the last ten years) wants to invest in the personal and career development of their most talented, high potential employees: as an operationalized version of the programmes that Alison Temperley designs and delivers for her own corporate clients, it is a tested exemplar for a similar three-to-five day workshop. The style is warm and breezy, and although the exercises are based on excellent sources and the input of many senior and successful people, it never feels academic or theoretical. A worthwhile purchase.

Ian Burnley

Easy to use top tips for all professionals to focus on their development. This book offers guidance to busy professionals aiming to develop their careers within professional services firms. The critical areas of business development, how to network efficiently and develop a personal pitch are all explored. The book shares very useful tips across all these areas and more and is likely to become a reference book to be accessed many times as careers develop. Easy to read and applicable to men as well as the women to whom the book is addressed.


A very practical and helpful read for career minded professionals. This book is written with a wonderful insight into professional service firms. It provides very useful exercises and knowledge to help career progression for women and men. A good investment.

Buy Your Copy Now!


UK Customers

Only £16.99 including free delivery*

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Testimonials. From happy clients.

"atd partners asked very good questions and really made me think, they helped me to have an outside perspective on the issues in the organisation and my part in them. I really appreciate what they did for me"

"Alison is a great listener and challenged us a lot. Her style made it easy for participants to open up and discuss their challenges"

"Alison is very professional and able to create a friendly atmosphere that makes people share their views openly"

"Alison was a great help to me; helping me to focus on what is important to me at this moment and in the future"

"Alison presented some very complex ideas in an easy to understand way"

"Alison is an amazing coach and an amazing person, I would like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for bringing back to life, a part of me, which I had considered dead for a long time"

"I was impressed by how quickly Alison analysed the issues considering she knew us for only a short time"

"Alison was amazing. She created a safe environment for all to share and voice their opinions. She has an amazing ability to read people"

“The sessions have been invaluable for me as a female and as a lawyer (the terms not being mutually exclusive!). While in hindsight a lot of the work we have done and ideas we have discussed seem logical and (nearly) second nature now (and it is difficult to understand why I was not thinking about them before), they certainly were not when I first started the programme. I really do think that is an important point to make to the partners when advocating for this pilot to be rolled out across the A2 group – while the issues/idea we discuss may come naturally to them, to young female lawyers that is not necessarily the case.”

“I can only speak incredibly highly of it. It has completely transformed the way I think about Linklaters and my career and has been fundamental to improving my attitude and building my confidence.”

“The programme forced me to make a habit of consciously thinking about my career. My highlight/favourite thing was being challenged to take action, not just to talk or think: including stating my ambitions, meeting people around the network, having an ‘elevator pitch’ ready, thinking more deeply about what motivates me and being more alive to issues of perception and impressions.”

“A key highlight from me was being given that time to focus on my career.  To step away from my desk and have some time to take stock and work out where I was and where I wanted to go.  Having regular meetings with agendas which were specifically tailored to our needs really helped this.  The sessions provided an encouraging and supportive environment but also a challenging one – and I really valued being challenged on my behaviour and habits at work.  It was good to have take-aways from every session and it made me focus on proactively changing my behaviour before the next session so that I could provide an update to the Group.  Without that structure, I must admit I would have been likely to keep the time to focus on my career at the bottom of my to-do list.  Particular themes which were really helpful to cover for me included the politics session and those which focussed on confidence and perception. I also really enjoyed the session with the female partners”

“Hand on heart I can say that there was no aspect of the programme that I did not enjoy or learn something from. I would struggle to pick one specific session that was a “highlight” (as they were all excellent), but as a more general comment I particularly enjoyed the open floor/open mic structure Alison and Fran encouraged at our sessions. I felt comfortable to speak openly without being judged or fear that it might be repeated back to my practice area. In this respect, I think it was good that we all came from different practice groups, and are all at different stages in our carer (although all within the same “A2” block). It meant we each had different perspectives and experiences to share and learn from.”

“I appreciated the time and space for reflection. I already had a reasonable habit of doing that but I think our time together emphasised the importance of it.”

“A big highlight for me (and the really unique thing compared to anything else I had done before) was the challenge. The dynamic of a small group and challenging and encouraging one another was really special. It was just fascinating to hear what colleagues (who I had generally known for a while) thought about themselves and how different it was to my own perceptions/other peoples. I was able to use some of those discussions as a mirror to look at myself and say “Are there times when the things you say about yourself sound as ridiculous as these things other people are saying about themselves”

“I found the programme to be both practical and relevant to my level. The issues discussed were the ones A2s like me face (or try not to face!) frequently. The best part was having an opportunity to discuss sensitive issues in an open forum of peers and get different perspectives to the same problem. It made me realise how common (/conventional/normal) the challenges that I face are; and that the only thing different between me and the next person is the mindset with which we are responding to these challenges. I particularly liked the session on business development, taking control, projecting confidence and the session with the female partners of the firm. The best part was getting concrete tips on things that I could do/change to get the results that I wanted.”

“Hearing about the experiences of the other women on the programme (often it put my experiences in perspective and made me think I’m pretty lucky!). I also enjoyed being forced/having a specific time to reflect on what I want from my career and if Linklaters is able to offer it. It feels a little self-indulgent just thinking/talking about yourself and the programme is good in that it gives “permission” to spend serious time on this.”

“I did appreciate the opportunity to have an open and honest discussion with female associates from other Groups on the issues which are important and relevant for associates of my level of seniority. The programme made me think about these issues.”

“The most valuable part of the course for me has actually been meeting people from other groups and therefore building more of a network across the firm. I therefore definitely think that if the course continues, it should continue to consist of small groups of people representing a variety of departments.”

“Meeting colleagues of a similar level from other parts of the firm and hearing views and experiences from outside my immediate department. Understanding how others (usually men!) approach the role and realising that it is possible for me to take a lot more control over my career and progression.”

"I just wanted to say thank you – not just for today but for the entirety of our course.
I’ve learnt so much from you and you have helped me position things in my own mind to be able to work through them much better.
Thanks again and look forward to catching up soon"