April 29th, 2016

Women@theTable Panel Discuss the Impact of Implicit Bias on Work/Life Balance

WOMEN@theTABLE PANEL SPEAKS ON THE BIASES THAT AFFECT MEN AND WOMEN AS THEY BALANCE CAREERS WITH THEIR PERSONAL LIVES

At Lim Ruger’s Women@theTable event held on the evening of April 26, 2016, Sharon Tomkins, the General Counsel at Southern California Gas Company, Mark Johnston, Senior Manager of HR at the Henry Company, and Lisa Hamasaki, Shareholder at The Miller Law Group shared personal stories and commented on the biases at work as we balance our professional and personal lives.

“Ask your kids what’s important to them,” said Sharon Tomkins as she shared with the audience her approach to work/life balance on having a successful career while raising four children. She realized early on that it was impossible for her to be everywhere and to do everything, so she found it effective to keep a channel of communication constantly open with her family members.

Lisa Hamasaki shared with us her experience as a shareholder in a women-owned law firm. “Even the men at our firm, although not sure if it’s because they are attracted to our firm for the principles we believe in, but nowadays even male attorneys seem just as comfortable taking paternity leaves and expressing their needs for work/life balance.”

However, when asked about the male perspective on parental leave and work/life balance, Mark Johnston admitted that the stigma still exists, but when senior partners and executives openly take advantage of opportunities to take parental or personal leaves it makes it okay and the culture changes. All agreed that the millennial generation was much more likely to assert and take advantage of these benefits and require work/life balance benefits as a standard.

The multi-layered and extremely relevant discussion kept the audience engaged and left us inspired and hopeful to achieve this seemingly unattainable, work/life balance. Sandy Sakamoto and Jeana Trost of Lim Ruger served as moderators of the discussion.

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