More thoughts on how to help women navigate their careers

images-1We all know that being a woman in any field comes with their own set of issues.  The legal and banking industry is super tough.  Having a family and trying to continue on with the same amount of hours and pressure from your male counterparts is not easy.  I am pretty sure that most women entering into these fields are a bit blindsided until they get there.  I might be speaking out of turn but that is the feedback I have got from the women I have talked to over the years.

Someone I have known for awhile through our kids school reached out to me to talk about what is next for her and her friend.  Both super smart successful lawyers.  They wanted to bounce some ideas off of me.  We began to talk about angel investing, education, politics and many of the areas that they might be interested in.

Then we began to talk about how tough is it for women in their field.  Who were their mentors?  Did they have any?  Were they mentoring any young women coming up the ranks?  I asked them “How can you both help women in your field navigate their careers”?  More important, is that an area that they would be interested in.

I suggested that they start with the law schools that they went to.  Think of a stump speech about the realities of being a woman in the field of law and what to expect.  Does anybody really talk about that?How can they help the next generation of women going in to law create a community for themselves to lean on?  Those sharp elbows were so unattractive when they came up the ladder.  Can that change?  Change never happens inside it always happens outside.  Does it make sense for women to spend a few years at an established law firm learning the ropes and then going out on their own?  How hard is it to have children and raise a family as a power lawyer?  The conversation flowed.

In the end, I hope that they think about being the voice for the next generation of women lawyers.  The importance of community for all women in any business is to have mentors, peers and community to talk to.  People who can support them, cheer for them and to give good advice.  Walking away from law after all those years is a waste.  Go back and make an impact on the next generation.  What a great way to give back.