Produced by Melanie Aitken, Radha Curpen, Dominique Hussey, Patrick Maguire, Barbara Stratton and Michelle Yung
At Bennett Jones, we place great value in promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work. As a leading law firm in Canada, we believe that we have a responsibility to drive positive change both within our own organization and in the wider legal community.
To mark this year's International Women's Day, we are proud to present a candid leadership conversation on the challenges women face in the legal field. Our five office managing partners are joined by moderator and Bennett Jones partner, Michelle Yung, as they share perspectives from their lived experiences. This discussion highlights the importance of acting purposely to create a workplace where women can thrive.
For your convenience, this conversation is also available in video format:
Michelle Yung: [00:00] To show up to the office as yourself, right? Your business development, the way you work is a reflection of your personality and no one size fits all we see. I mean, this table included. I mean, we see there's so many paths to whatever success looks like for that individual. Hello and welcome to this very special Bennett Jones conversation to Mark International Women's Day. I'm Michelle Young partner in our Vancouver office, and I'm joined here by our office managing partners, Radha Kirkin, Barbara Stratton, Dominic Cussy, Melanie Aiken, and Pat McGuire. So we're here to talk about workplace culture where women can thrive. Let's dive right in, Barbara, I'm going to go to you first. What are the most important things we can do as a law firm to keep investing in an equitable workplace where women can thrive?
Barbara Stratton KC: [01:10] Thanks, Michelle. I think the first thing we need to do is to listen and to be flexible and I say to listen, to hear what women have to say about their own situation in life, what's important to them, what's keeping them up at night, and then to respond and then to be flexible because it's different from woman to woman and it changes over the course of a woman's career.
Michelle Yung: [01:31] Having that dialogue will allow us to in real time, respond and even be proactive in many instances. Rad, I see you nodding. Do you want to share?
Radha Curpen: [01:44] I agree completely with what Barbara said, but I also think that look at us around the stable and we're privileged to have Pat with us. And I do want to say visibility of women in leadership is important and we do that well at Ben Jones. We do that well at the managing partner level, at the board level, at the senior management level, we do that. Yeah.
Michelle Yung: [02:16] And Pat, I know I've heard you speak about listening in this context before.
Patrick Maguire KC: [02:21] Yeah, that's a big part of it, but I also think you need to create the space to be feel comfortable speaking in order to be listened to. And we've got to find ways in dialoguing with our lawyers so they are able to express their views to get the information that Barbara was talking about so that we can hear better and people need to feel more comfortable speaking their mind and letting us know what's affecting their career and what those paths are. And listening is a big part of it.
Michelle Yung: [02:50] That's right. And I always say that the focus is not just on women. The focus is on all genders and our entire workforce as a team. It's just as important to listen to the men and everyone else in the workforce when we're looking at how do we help the women in particular. And I think one thing that we do very well is parental leave.
Patrick Maguire KC: [03:18] That's been an important, I think, change over the last while is making sure that we're managing parental leave better, ensuring that women have the opportunity or parents have the opportunity to step away when they need to, but more importantly, the coming back, making sure there's work for them to do when they get back and being very purposeful about that.
Michelle Yung: [03:38] Dom, do you want to share?
Dominique Hussey: [03:40] Well, I guess I would echo what everybody has said so far, and I agree that listening is really critical. It only works if you are listening attentively and not making assumptions. We may be listening, but listening for certain cues that just confirm what we already believe. And it's hard to look at women as a group on their own and make assumptions. And you're quite right. It's not a one size fits all situation and you're not always going to know based on what you see. There are women who have children who want to have the flexibility to spend some more time with children. There are women with children who are the primary breadwinners and want to spend their time at work and have made arrangements so that they can do that. There are women who do not have children but may have ailing parents. They may have other pressures in their lives.
[04:26] All of these things are also true of men, of everybody we have at the firm. And so some people who are very well-meaning might make assumptions that a person is taking a foot off the pedal and not willing to work so hard and making accommodations for that person when those accommodations are in fact not welcome and are actually seen as hindering them in their careers as opposed to helping. So it's listening, listening openly, not making assumptions and making sure you have an environment in which people think that they can share what their particular wants and needs and desires and aspirations are, and having an environment that's flexible enough to be able to accommodate all of these very situations which we as human beings find themselves in or find ourselves in.
Michelle Yung: [05:11] That's right. And also people go through seasons in life. You might have very young kids at some point, and the key is to be at home so you don't miss those milestones. But then when your kids get older, maybe that is the time when you want to put your foot more on the gas and try to figure out what you can do more at the office. Mel, do you want to share?
Melanie Aitken: [05:34] Well, we talk about all this. I think there's an enormous amount to celebrate. We've come a long way from when I first had, I mean, we all took different paths. Some of us had kids, some of us didn't. Did it at different times. I chose very late. That was kind of what worked for me. But I'm so glad that we're not in the world where I tried to be visibly pregnant for as short a time as possible because I knew there was going to be an assumption and a kind one in many ways that my priorities had changed and I needed to get back to the office as soon as possible. And it all works out and it worked out great. I am so glad we don't have that anymore. I think your point is really good about assumptions. I think that's also something is folks of, I don't mean to age others, but of my age anyway, we had our experience and we do tend to think that others will think like we do.
[06:20] And I'm acutely aware in kind of an intellectual sense that things are different and my challenges are different. Not necessarily were they harder, but they're just different. I think it's really good to integrate other women and other men in the conversation that are interacting with the young folks or younger folks to sort out what they really do want. They don't necessarily want the same things we want. They don't necessarily want to look for what's the best time for my career. They might be looking for what's the best time for me to go off and do a PhD in music and take a secondment while not losing pace. I mean, it's not just about children. And I think we need to recognize that people are well-rounded people. Parenting is not the only thing that draws you out. People have other passions, and I think if we want well-rounded, happy, productive people, we need to be looking not just at the one that we tend to focus on the most because relatively easy to focus on, but there are other things that people want to do.
Michelle Yung: [07:12] Yeah, that's great. Radha, I'm going to ask you this next question. In your experience as a leader, how have the opportunities and barriers to success for women change over the years?
Radha Curpen: [07:23] Change is part of life and every time we look around there's changes. What I would say is when I started, it would've been more something that was not talked about so much. It was more about if you want to succeed, you have to be one of the guys. And in fact, I think I've said that story before and I think it may be bare repeating people, well-meaning sort of advising me to go have drinks with the guys on Friday night because otherwise I will not get the best work because that was, you need to be one of the boys. And I said, I'm not doing that. I'm doing my thing and however it is, I will get the work that I need to get, but I'm not going to do it that way. So people also have to think who they are, what are their values. So that is not today's world.
Michelle Yung: [08:28] I can remember all the different hockey games that I went to as a junior lawyer that I now no longer feel I need to do hockey's not my thing. But that's right. And I think that goes back to the comment that we started with about listening. We need to listen to our workforce and hear what they're saying to us in terms of how are they staying connected, how are they feeling motivated to stay at Bennett Jones, stay in their role and stay there for a long time. I think listening and also having that connection, that glue that we talk about as a firm for so much. Barbara, would you like to share?
Barbara Stratton KC: [09:09] Well, I think everyone said this in different ways, but we're really in it for, we're playing the long game. And so if we could, as we onboard a student or a new associate, we want them for their career. And Pat and I, this is our 30th year of practicing law. And when we graduated from law school, there were 50% women, 50% men. The school was thrilled with that great numbers, but what we saw over the years is the attrition of women. That's something that I just really don't want to see anymore any more than losing men. And to do that, again, we're playing the long game. What can we do to keep women engaged? Finding meaning, purpose and joy in their work and men supporting men mentoring men. And I think that's to me a really important piece of what we do every day at Bennett Jones.
Dominique Hussey: [10:11] I think supporting the individual, which I think is what has to happen because we hire people for their diverse skills, their diverse interests and their excellence. So supporting the individual will inevitably lead to supporting women to the extent that that's what we want to do, keeping women, keeping them advancing because they do tend to leave the profession in greater numbers than men do. And you mentioned hockey as an example, and because that is often a way in which people can develop business, and there are some women who are massive hockey fans, they're thrilled to go to hockey games. And then there are other people who are not men and women, and that is also true of our clients. We also have to reflect the diversity of our clients. And so it is very important. It's valuable in fact, to have people with a whole range of skills, a whole range of interests, and to encourage them in pursuing those interests. It helps set them apart, it makes them memorable.
Michelle Yung: [11:04] And to show up to the office as yourself, right? Your business development, the way you work is a reflection of your personality and no one size fits all we see. I mean, this table included. I mean, we see there's so many paths to whatever success looks like for that individual.
Patrick Maguire KC: [11:21] Yeah, I agree. I think a lot of it is around creating the opportunities for people to achieve all the success that they want to achieve. And some of it is through work experience, making sure that the allocation of great work opportunities being put on a good file, that those opportunities are provided for good reasons and not because you happen to be at the hockey game with somebody last night, but that there's some fairness in the way that work gets distributed and the opportunities to engage with clients. One of the great things, the diversity of our offices and our colleagues is that's what our clients are like, and having the opportunities to be engaged with our clients is fantastic, and we need to be more thoughtful about making sure we're creating opportunities for everybody to succeed.
Melanie Aitken: [12:09] I think women didn't tend to mentor women in our time. Certainly that was my experience. All my mentors were men and they were fantastic, but I think the poor women who were just one ahead of us had it even harder. It was really hard for them. They were just still struggling even though they seemed very accomplished and senior to us at the time. But I think some of the barriers that we have are engagement. I think particularly post pandemic, I think not that women are better relationships or men are. I think we both are and we both need them and we both need them to learn. And I think one of the challenges that we're going to have and as a barrier a bit temporal landed upon us with C I D is I think just keeping people together because it's that talking. How are we going to listen if we're not even having a conversation?
[12:52] I do think the opportunities also are greater. If you look at our clients now, there's so many more women and people of all sorts of diversity represented in our clients that I think that that's all sorts of new opportunities, connection. We can connect. I can connect great with Pat on lots of things, but there's some things that Rod and I are going to share that I'm able to share with another woman. And when we think about it, taking care of our clients and building our relationship so that we can help them and advise them well, we need to understand a little bit what makes them tick. And if you're able to have that kind of an intimate conversation more often with someone who may have some of the same experiences that you do, I think that's a great opportunity for women. You can't just go up to someone and say, I want to be a mentor. I remember that lean in. She said, just don't tell me you want me to do something or come to me with something. But I think if you come to any woman at Bennett Jones who is in any sort of sense of in a partner role or a leadership role or a management role at the firm, you're going to find a very, very open audience and frankly, an excitement that they've come to you that they want to talk to you. So I think that's a real opportunity we didn't have.
Radha Curpen: [13:55] I agree. I've had great mentors and continue to have great mentors. They've all been a white male and I really appreciated. I love the mentorship I've had, the sponsorship that I've had, and I wouldn't be where I am today without that. So I feel privileged to have had that, but I also feel the responsibility to ensure that I pass it on. I feel the responsibility to ensure that I provide intentionally for all, for everyone, the opportunities that's there, the opportunities for them to see what is good about the work they're doing and what is the outcome of that. So that's part of what I have learned from my mentor without them articulating it that way, but certainly showing it acting that way. So now there is a responsibility that comes with that.
Melanie Aitken: [14:52] I think we didn't roll into it quite as easily, perhaps as our male peers of our generation, but I look at our offices and you're one of us, I think there's a gentle no, there's a gentleness and an openness and an approachability that really comes with who we have in leadership. So if I were a young person looking to come to Beta Jo, I would be thrilled to see these folks in charge.
Michelle Yung: [15:16] Dom, you and I spoke just recently about to have leaders that are women and who are open-minded and listening and engaged. The power of having those people to look to in your own office and beyond nationally.
Dominique Hussey: [15:31] People need to see a path and a trajectory. They need to see that they have opportunity to succeed and that there are many different trajectories that can still lead to success and sometimes times get hard and everybody's life, there might be challenges, and this is not an easy profession. We are all in on this profession. There's no way you can't lily dip and be an excellent practicing lawyer. And so you do need examples of people who have had unusual paths and people who've stuck around and ultimately achieve success. For people to be encouraged that there is a path for them too, no matter what they face. I mean the human condition is a difficult one. We are all very privileged people, but we still have a lot of tough stuff that we have to deal with on a fairly regular basis. And I do think that if we have people stick it out and stick it around because the environment is hospitable for them to do that and achieve success, that kind of success will beget success. We'll have people around and you need that in order to preserve a healthy culture and in order to preserve a certain standard that we want to deliver to our clients and a certain environment in which we want to work.
Michelle Yung: [16:40] Barbara, I'll go to you first on this one. We talked a little bit about working throughout the pandemic and working remotely, but what are you seeing and how do you think the firm is going to make the most of the new world of flexible work?
Barbara Stratton KC: [16:56] Well, I think it's a wonderful opportunity. The hybrid model is a wonderful opportunity. And to Melanie's point, it's not just for women who are having children, it's for men who are having children, it's for parents or it's for people who have elderly parents who have needs. It's for whatever's going on in someone's life where they might need or want to be home more. But when they're at the office, which is so important for our culture, for the glue to make the office count so that we have meaningful interactions when people are in the office and we need people in the office to be able to really be part of the whole Bennett Jones experience, which is so important, but also have the flexibility where they can work from home during the week or a certain time of their life or whatever's going on. And I think that that is a wonderful opportunity for people that we did not have in the past. It's one of the good things from the pandemic.
Michelle Yung: [17:53] I would say it's a better reflection of who we are as people. We don't clock in at nine to five o'clock and we have, I say this sometimes to the juniors that I mentored. We are living full lives as we are pursuing these really challenging careers.
Patrick Maguire KC: [18:09] Yeah, I think what's going to be one of the great challenges over the next five, 10 years is dealing with the differences that people are choosing around how much they want to be in the office and how much they prefer to work at home. And I think as managers, we need to be alive to the reality that people are going to have different experiences where they're working primarily at the office or more often at home. And we need to be a little more deliberate about making sure, again, that we're providing opportunities for everybody to be as good a lawyer as they can be in those circumstances, but also recognizing that there are different experiences when you're working at home than when you're working face-to-face with people in the office.
Melanie Aitken: [18:48] I think the way law firms have changed a little bit, including Bennett Jones in particular, is recognizing that different people bring different things to the table and people want different things from what they bring to the table. I think to Pat's point, it's a zero sum game. I guess I'm a bit old fashioned in my perspective on that. I think it's great if we can offer some flexibility for those who want it, but I think people have to be a bit clear-eyed that there'll be reverberations. Consequences sound so negative, and I don't mean it necessarily negatively, but I just think they'll be follow on effects that will flow from those choices. In a sense, all of us are kind of over the drawbridge to a certain extent. I don't know how much more I can learn. I should learn a lot more. But if I were to look back and think of myself as being in my younger years of practice, I like to think I'd react a certain way.
[19:37] I don't know if I would. I think I was pretty driven, and I think I'd be one of those eager beavers turning up because I wanted to end up here. I don't know if I would. I think this choice, choice comes with risk, right? Because if it's very clear you've got to take a certain path and you just take the certain path, you don't even think about it. Now these choices and choice is not a bad thing. Choice is a good thing. And I think there's a way, and Bennett Jones is particularly open to it to making different models work, and I think that's a fantastic credit to us. I think on an individual level, the person making the choice has to recognize just every life has, everything's a trade off. And I think we'd be not serving our folks well if we didn't try to shed some light on that. And maybe that's not the world's most popular view, but that's mine.
Radha Curpen: [20:24] We talk about culture and all that, and I agree with that and I agree that there law is an apprenticeship. So you are going to learn by observing and attending things with people who are more senior to you and various layers of seniority. You're not just going to learn from the partner. You're going to learn from the various associates on a matter and working together. There's nothing like it. There's nothing like this, right? What we're doing, right, the connections we have, but as a result, we need to even be more mindful of the things that we do so that we do maintain the culture no matter what. We have to do it in a hybrid environment. We cannot say the only way to do it is coming to the office. We have to do it. We have to do it in the hybrid environment and be intentional about how we go and continue the small connections. It's not just the big connections of everybody in a virtually together, but the small ones, the one-on-ones, the two on ones, the drafting that you do together, the working together, the commitment to continue to build on the commitment. So we feel it and we talk about it a lot at the board level. We talk about those type of things and we are mindful and we want to do it well for our people.
Melanie Aitken: [21:45] When I hear wonderful things in particular, we just happened to be having a conversation with some folks from Vancouver about you, Radha, and I think it puts an extra pressure on you guys as local managing partners to be walking indoors and finding people when they're there. And since they're not going to be there every day, it makes more pressure on you all. But I hear wonderful things about you're just walking the walk, you're walking the halls. I think there's a greater premium perhaps on that now to find people to find them when they're there maybe means instead of two mornings a week, you devote to that. Now you have to make sure it's on a day that isn't a manager.
Michelle Yung: [22:24] Exactly. Pat, this one's over to you, given the nature of the question, but perhaps you can share with us what you think men need to do to forge a more inclusive work culture.
Patrick Maguire KC: [22:34] Well, I think there's a few things. One is the opportunity allocation than I was speaking about earlier, and just making sure when you're staffing files and that you're providing good opportunities for everybody to succeed and to bring their A game. And it's a challenge because part of the culture historically has been hanging out with each other and those sort of bonds that are built over social moments and being a little more deliberate about the work allocation that preserves those cultural things, but also I think achieves the results we need to which making sure every one of our lawyers has the opportunity to succeed. I think on the business development side, I think there's some great things, and I think one of the things that Lisa and the team do is bring us ideas. There's no monopoly on good ideas just because we happen to have a management position here. And so empowering, I think women in our organization to say, listen, I've got an idea for a different way of doing business development so I don't have to go to another hockey game.
[23:41] I think that's great, and we all got to take a role in this too. And I think there's opportunities for our colleagues, men and women to call out the bad behavior in particular, but also the unconscious bias and just the things that we're not thinking about and tapping each other on the shoulder and saying, Hey, pat, there might've been a different way to phrase that, or you may not have saw that in the room, but something you said was perhaps not interpreted in the way you intended. And I think we can all be a little more supportive of each other on that.
Dominique Hussey: [24:11] Yeah. Well, and you described that as support. A lot of people might hear that as criticism, but it's not necessarily that, right? It's working toward a better environment at all times and thinking about what we're not thinking about. So we have to be thoughtful about thinking about what we're not thinking about in order to make an environment as hospitable as possible for everybody to be able to thrive. And it's not easy. I mean, it's like being introspective 24 7, which is an exhausting thing to do, but it's just sort of what we have to do.
Patrick Maguire KC: [24:40] But if you chose this profession, you chose it. You love to learn. Exactly. And this is just more learning and it makes it a better place to be.
Dominique Hussey: [24:50] Yes. It's learning, listening, and I mean, historically law has been relatively hierarchical. I think that is changing in general because society is less hierarchical than it has been. Just ask my kids, they run the show. It has nothing to do with me anymore. But it does mean being open to learning from people who have not been around for as long as we have been around because they have perspectives that we don't have and we can't have because we just weren't there for their genesis, we just weren't. So we have to create an environment whereby people are obviously also respectful, but feel free to call out behavior that they see or say, this might not have been intentional, but here's what this meant to me. Cause us to think about it without it actually being threatening and also without fear of cancellation.
Radha Curpen: [25:36] We have to remember, we all come from different backgrounds. Even if we look alike, we come from different backgrounds, but people assume they there from the same background. That's right. And when we talk about women or visible minority, there's not one person that represents all of us, which reminds me of there's a seminar we had at the firm here on unconscious bias, and I attended it and realized how much bias I have too. So we all do, and I always stop. It's something that I ask myself daily actually, because I'm always confronted with situations where I need to ask myself that question, which is, is this really what's happening here? Am I seeing it the way it is, or am I seeing it the way I am? So that's those type of discussions, those kind of conversations need to happen.
Michelle Yung: [26:32] So I'll open the floor on this one since we're all leaders here in the room. But what do you think leaders in particular can do to educate themselves and to educate themselves about how to build workplaces where women thrive?
Radha Curpen: [28:02] We do need to continue to have the conversations. Sometimes difficult conversations have to happen. Sometimes we have to call out behavior, not call out in public. We have to call out behavior that is not appropriate, that has to be called out. We also have to celebrate.
Melanie Aitken: [28:20] We're fortunate to be in a place that's walking the walk. I mean, look around. There are people managing our offices. That's pretty spectacular. I think a lot of corporate environments are saying the right things now, but I think not everybody's quite doing it. I mean, this is it in action, I think right here around this table, which it makes it a very appealing place to be and I think a very healthy place to work. Not that there's not lots we can't learn. I think the listening to the vocabulary, the nomenclature new tripped over. I get taught regularly by my teenage kids. This is what it's called. And in the past I think I would've, oh, this is nonsense. You young people. It's critical that we learn to speak in a way that is supportive, that is inclusive, that is responsive to the world they're living in.
[29:08] And we've just got to get comfortable with that. And if we don't, we don't at our peril. But that's not Ben Jones. I mean, I feel really fortunate. It is very supportive. I've had a couple of occasions where people, I've said something, others have said something, and the way that we've handled it internally is just actually really quite lovely. It's not been to be put you on the defensive. You said something that was offensive, nothing like that at all. It's more like, I know this is going to sound funny coming, especially coming from me or whatever. People are very good about putting it in a way that makes others comfortable. So I just think that speaks volumes about the way that we approach these issues and the promise that there is for the future for us to just continue to making leaps and bounds in terms of making this an accessible, supportive environment in which people can grow and learn together.
Dominique Hussey: [29:55] And I actually think the idea of growth in terms of the environment is as important as growth in terms of the lawyers that we are trying to foster, because we can never think, okay, well, we've got it right? We've got all the policies in place, we have these conversations, we listen, check. We've done it. Right. It's going to be a continuous process of effort. It's never going to end.
Radha Curpen: [30:16] The good thing about it is the fact that we cannot stop moving. We can't, like you said, think that we've got it now. We don't. I mean, even when we look around the table and it's so visible, it's not that we've got it. It's like we are continuing to make the steps. We're continue to work and we're going to continue to do so now and in the future.
Dominique Hussey: [30:36] Yeah, permanent work in process, which we don't like as lawyers, right? We don't like permanent whip, right? We want to convert that, but that's what it's, yeah, exactly.
Michelle Yung: [30:46] That was a great lawyer job. Thank you.
Barbara Stratton KC: [30:49] Let me give you two tangible examples of what we do as well to support women. And one is we have mother's lounges in our offices, and another is for the litigators in our office, in our firm who have to, in the past wear men's vests over there if they're expecting, they're expecting body. We now have proper maternity, really beautifully built, made maternity vests for women, and that's been appreciated. Right now, one of our litigators is in trial and she's wearing one of the vests, and she's so appreciative of it. Instead of having to look like a short man with the big, she's not. So that's a tangible example of what we do, that we walk the talk.
Dominique Hussey: [31:38] For a while. There was one of those in Toronto that just made the rounds. I don't mean the Toronto office, I mean Toronto, the city, to be clear.
Barbara Stratton KC: [31:48] So we have three in Edmonton, small, medium, and large. So yeah, there you go.
Michelle Yung: [31:54] This will be our closing question that I'm going to ask each of you to describe just in a few words, what the single most important thing that firms need to offer or to reflect as a firm as in order to inspire and retain the future generations in the context of International Women's Day. Melanie, I'll start with you.
Melanie Aitken: [32:17] So it's a great question because I think a lot has happened very quickly. I mean, I would never have imagined 30 years ago that I'd ever be having the privilege of doing what I do and spending time with the people that I spend time with and working with clients that I do. So things change so much, so quickly, I think as a firm to ensure that we, that is exciting and energizing for young talent coming into our ranks. I think we just need to the best we can shed those hierarchical notions that we all met when we came into the firm and try to be as flat an organization as we can. Recognizing people are at different stages and ages, but this is a place where everyone has a voice. It doesn't matter what your title is, we've got lots of those, but it doesn't matter what your title is, it doesn't matter what your status is, partner, associate, student, everyone has a voice. This is a place where we want to hear what you have to say, and we want you to grow, and we want you to stay and we want to grow with you for a very long time. That wasn't really a very clear notion. It's just an idea I have of what we would need to look like as a firm if I were a young person coming and looking and seeing where would I like to work and spend an enormous amount of time.
Michelle Yung: [33:29] That's right. Some of the best ideas you learn from the youngsters who are coming through, students sometimes have the best ideas or they question, they question the system, why are we doing it this way? And you're like, you're right. Let's blow it up.
Melanie Aitken: [33:42] Absolutely
Michelle Yung: [33:44] Pat?
Patrick Maguire KC: [33:44] Well, we've talked about how there's so many different paths to success. Everybody's going to create their own journey, our business model as we solve complex business legal problems for our clients, and that's a truism, and we've got to work hard to do it, and we've got to lean into the job, but there's no one way to succeed around here. And I think one of the things that we can do as leaders is making sure that everybody has the opportunity to find their own path in serving our common cause, and in the context of providing those opportunities for women, I just can continue to rely on my fantastic colleagues to give me good ideas. So thank you, all of you very well. Making my job so much easier.
Michelle Yung: [34:26] Thanks, Pat. Radha, how about you?
Radha Curpen: [34:29] We've discussed so many great things around this table here, and I would echo what's been said already by everybody, and it is also just finding, I'm just thinking right now as Pat was speaking, I was thinking about this quote from, I'm now going to quote it because I'm, I'm now going to do it justice. If I quote it. It was said something about if you want to build a ship, you don't go and ask people, and I'm paraphrasing to pick up the wood. You talk about the sea, you talk about the discovery of the sea, and that's what we are doing is that what we're doing is creating something and giving them the inspiration to be part of it, to be part of something much bigger. I think it's for everybody. It's not just for women, but it's for everybody.
Michelle Yung: [35:30] Barbara?
Barbara Stratton KC: [35:32] Well, Michelle, if I could distill it down into a few thoughts. I would say meaningful engagement where everybody has engagement with their work, flexibility and working in a healthy environment. I think that would, in my mind, added to that, I guess glue, the glue of the relationships we have in our firm nationally and within each office. To me that in a nutshell is what I try to exemplify and how I'd like to lead and follow daily.
Dominique Hussey: [36:11] And I would say opportunities and encouragement for growth and a true perception by everybody working here that their individual attributes and characteristics are not barriers, they're not hindrances. There are opportunities to harness something that could be very beneficial to our clients and the firm in solving the complex business issues that we solve.
Michelle Yung: [36:34] Well, thank you everyone for joining me today in this discussion.
All: [36:37] Thank you. Thank you. Great luck. Thanks everyone.
Radha Curpen: [36:38] More fun than I thought.