Kathy Noecker, member of the firm's management board and executive committee, answered questions about her legal career in a Law360 Female Powerbrokers Q&A segment. Having been a lawyer for nearly 30 years, Noecker pointed out that while the legal industry has made strides toward equality in recent years, women still face barriers in what the male-dominated industry. "Today, the obstacles women face are more subtle and often arise from a natural tendency we all have to be most comfortable with people who are like us and a lack of recognition of the value of different styles and skill sets," Noecker told Law360.
In the article, Noecker offered advice to women lawyers beginning their careers. "I often tell associates that it's important to be themselves and to have confidence in doing so," she said. "We are at our best when we are authentic and draw direction, conviction and energy from our heart and gut. Use that energy to take on new challenges and ask for opportunities outside your comfort zone."
She added that aiding in the advancement of others is not only an important aspect of being a leader and role model for other female attorneys, it benefits the firm as a whole. "Role models are so important to retention and advancement of talented people," Noecker explained. "Everyone feels more welcomed and valued when they see others like them in positions of influence. In order to advance more women to leadership, leaders need to be intentional about sponsoring women, giving them significant and meaningful client opportunities, building their confidence and recognizing their successes."