As the first person to go to college in her family, Marla Persky did not have a professional female role model. Unsure of what she wanted to do, she found an attraction to being a trial attorney, standing up in front of a jury, telling a story and becoming a character in front of other people. While studying law she realized she loved business even more and spent many years professionally learning how to influence as opposed to command and control in business. A champion for female attorneys, diversity and inclusion, Marla has personally experienced being the only woman in the room. Driven by the passion to help other female attorneys succeed Marla founded WOMN LLC, A company dedicated to helping women succeed in the business of law by increasing their knowledge of and acuity with financial drivers, client development and leadership. Throughout her professional life, marla has had the opportunity to understand and practice business principles that lead to personal and company success. Marla has been Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Boehringer Ingelheim Inc. where she oversaw a department of over 70 individuals. Prior to that she spent 17 years at Baxter international where she held numerous business and legal positions including Acting General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Marla currently serves on several corporate boards. In addition to her corporate activities she is on the board of several non-profit organizations including Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Primary Stages, and World Neighbors Inc. Throughout her career Marla has focused on improving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She has been awarded for her contributions by elite organizations such as Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity and The Connecticut Appleseed Foundation. She was recognized as one of the 10 most innovative in house counsel for her strategy and efforts to increase the opportunities and visibility of women in high profile litigation.
What You Will Hear in This Episode:
Marla’s education and career trajectory
Law school and learning to be a business person
Purpose and creation of WOMN
Meritocracy and building influence
Women graduates vs women in leadership
Business development and role models as a woman
Shifting demands towards diversity in law and business
Shifting business models today
Good, authentic networking
Tips for law firms and companies to level the playing field for women.
Reinvesting in your community
“It’s through influence that professionals and women in particular really can make a difference”
“The practice of law is actually a business and if you don’t look at yourself as a product and you don’t understand your target audiences and you don’t have a brand and a brand channel that will get your bard in front of your targeted audience, you will not succeed in the practice of law or in business.”
“Hard work alone is not enough for success.”
“Good girls rarely make history. My goal was not to be a good girl, my goal became to be a respected and successful girl.”
“Older men are respected, older women are marginalized.”
“The business model in law firms is going to have to change if it’s going to be truly diverse.”
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