Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Sector: Private Sector
Magic Moment: There are many memorable moments during my pursuit of my career while raising two small children. One story I always like to share with my peers is this one: one day I asked my then 3-year old son what he would want to be when he grew up. My son said he would like to become a lawyer. My then 4- year old daughter overheard the conversation and said to her little brother, “don’t be silly, you are a boy. Only girls can be lawyers” (background: my husband is not a lawyer). That was a “magic” moment for me. I can only imagine how that conversation would have gone if it happened 50 years ago. You cannot become someone you cannot see.
Key Influence: I am grateful to many people I’ve come across throughout my professional journey that influenced and shaped whom I am as a lawyer today, including those who had doubts about me or did not see me because I was a woman, Asian or I did not laugh at their jokes which I did not grow up with. They or those experiences made me more aware of whom I am and ignited the fire inside of me to always go an extra mile to achieve what I would like to achieve, for myself and for my clients.
I would be remiss if I did not particularly mention in this regard, Mr. Morty Gross (a former partner at my firm and former VP at Empire Communities), who taught me everything I know about practising law, and provided me with endless opportunities working along and against the best and brightest legal minds. In Morty’s book, practising law is about having “fun” which I have now completely subscribed to. Morty “opened the door” for many women leaders, and I hope we, who have benefited from his mentorship, will continue to hold the door open for others to come through.
Next Big Challenge As An Industry: Affordable housing and reliable & accessible public transit are two big, closely-related areas of the challenges we are facing. We need to build our communities in a holistic way to provide our people what they need in all aspects of their lives, and what they can afford to raise their families. These are the challenges as well as opportunities for the building community and the professionals who serve the community by re-orienting or expanding their business objectives and taking innovative measures to create a “win-win” scenario for all involved.
Secret Talent: Time-management (I think?)
On Championing Others… I think time and opportunities are the most generous things we can share with our juniors. I will continue to share my experiences, ideas and lessons with junior women professionals.
One word that captures you: Focused