Exceptional service to our clients and communities is core to everything we do here at Nixon Peabody. Our inspiring women leaders drive these efforts and help fuel the strength of our firm, while carving a path for other colleagues to define success on their own terms. Through their career journeys, these women have both inspired and empowered their teams to achieve excellence, surmount setbacks, and create a culture of equity that embraces our differences while making our firm stronger.
We’re excited to shine a light on the incredible contributions of NP women leaders, especially as we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. We’ve spoken to several colleagues throughout the firm—each with their own experiences and skillsets, but all committed to creating a positive impact through their work.
Read on to hear more from Liz Chiapperi, Chief Knowledge Officer; Rekha Chiruvolu, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer; Stacie Collier, Chief Talent Officer; Lindsay Maleson, Healthcare partner and national chair of NP's Women's Resource Group; Allison McClain, Chief Communications Officer; Evelyn Moreno, Private Clients Practice Group Leader; Catherine Ng, Global Finance Practice Group Co-Leader; Danielle Paige, Chief Marketing & Growth Officer; Julie Seymour, Management Committee member.
What is your proudest achievement as a leader at Nixon Peabody?
Liz Chiapperi: From Training Manager to Chief Knowledge Officer, I have had a wonderful journey with many memorable moments during my career at Nixon Peabody. But what I am most proud of are the relationships that I have built with my team and my colleagues based on mutual trust and respect. Collaborating with others and nurturing these relationships are the foundation of my career journey and at the heart of other achievements. Together we have navigated uncertainties, celebrated successes, overcome challenges, learned from failures, and shared sad and uplifting moments. I could not have accomplished much without the teams and the people.
Stacie Collier: My proudest achievement has been the willingness to step up when leadership opportunities arose—I have been privileged to serve as a PGL, MCO member, candidate for Managing Partner, and Chief Talent Officer. It has been incredibly rewarding to give back to the firm and use some of my skills to help grow our amazing culture and assist others in building their careers here.
What has been the greatest challenge/obstacle you’ve overcome on your path to your leadership role?
Allison McClain: As a leader, every day you are faced with new challenges and opportunities, and you must make decisions, sometimes difficult ones. Typically, you rely on experience to help guide you in making those decisions. No one could have predicted the leadership and communications challenges the COVID-19 pandemic would bring. Leading through the past three years as we faced uncertainty, unpredictability, and extreme stress has been a challenge. COVID-19 has forced us to look hard at how we work and what the future of work will look like. It has afforded us opportunities to experiment with new ways of working: what has worked and what hasn’t, and what we can do going forward to create a positive and productive workplace for our colleagues. Finding a balance of how we can preserve and strengthen our firm culture, and our connections to each other, in a remote and hybrid work environment is key.
Julie Seymour: The greatest obstacles I've overcome on my path to a leadership role are a bit of self-doubt and a hesitancy to raise my hand! I pushed myself through these obstacles and realized that the self-doubt was completely unwarranted and others actually wanted me to raise my hand!
What advice do you have for the next generation of women who want to be future leaders in organizations like NP?
Evelyn Moreno: You don't have to go it alone! There are many who have gone before you who are reaching a hand to you to help you advance. Don't shy away from a leadership role just because you think you don't have the requisite experience—no one does at first.
Rekha Chiruvolu: Be fearless. It takes courage to step into a room where you may be the only one, but the impact you can have by taking that bold step will be profound. It's easy to find reasons not to do something, but when you have the chance to lead, take it.
Catherine Ng: I am a firm believer in the expression: “Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.” If you've made it this far, then you are doing something right. You are good and you don’t need to be perfect.
How do you promote equity and inclusion in your leadership roles?
Danielle Paige: Equity and inclusion are core components of my responsibility as a leader. To live those values, I always try to meet people exactly where they are in their life. When I start from a place of understanding that each person has a unique life experience, a unique set of challenges and aspirations they bring with them to a professional environment, I am better equipped to help shape opportunities that are best suited to each individual. Everyone’s needs are different, but taking the time to understand what those are is a practice I believe helps me to drive equity within my teams and organizations. Truly inclusive environments are grounded in trust and humanity and that comes through understanding and associated action.
Lindsay Maleson: I look for what each team member uniquely brings to the table—whether it's knowledge, experience, perspective, interest, ability, motivation, etc. and try to bring that out. I ask for each member of the team to speak at meetings. I ask team members what I am missing. I check in with team members frequently to understand how they are feeling about our project, their work in general, and their role in the firm.