Christin Hill is a partner in MoFo's San Francisco office and a member of the Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Defense Group. Her practice focuses on representing clients in securities class actions and other complex civil litigation in both federal and state courts, as well as in government and internal investigations.
What does the International Women's Day theme "Each for Equal" mean to you?
Equal for Equal is about participating in the collective movement for equality. We all have a part to play. I think about my own husband who has taken a step back from his own career to be the primary caregiver for our children. He makes all the lunches, volunteers in the classroom, bandages up the scraped knees, and gives loving hugs after school. His sacrifice has helped propel my own career forward, and shown our children that gender does not dictate your household role. I consider him at the forefront of the women's equality movement, and I hope more men are willing and able to follow his example.
Tell us about the woman who most influenced your career and how she motivated you.
It may sound cliché, but the woman who most influenced my career is my grandmother, Earline Grays. She was a teacher, not a lawyer. She taught composition in Los Angeles Unified School District for decades. Even at a young age, I deeply admired her professionalism and work ethic. She was my first example of a career woman, and she was fabulous. She went to work dressed like a CEO, arrived early, and stayed late. She was also the type of teacher who took a personal interest in her students' success, driving them to achieve beyond their own perceived capabilities. I always knew her students loved her as they would visit her house long after she retired from teaching. When she passed away last year, her former students flew from all over the country to pay their respects. She was a "mentor" and a "sponsor" long before those were buzz words. I try every day to emulate her professionalism and her mentorship toward others.
What are some of the biggest opportunities for women in the workforce today? What changes have you seen over the course of your career that paved the way for women's advancement?
One of the biggest opportunities for women in the workforce that I see is choice. Although certainly not universal, as it's limited to those privileged enough to have choices. But, for those of us with professional degrees, particularly for lawyers, there are many more ways to practice law now than in the past. Large law firms have become increasingly hospitable to women with part-time opportunities, extended parental leave policies, and on-ramping and off-ramping opportunities. Many other women have paved the way for these policies to become the industry standard at large firms. In addition, there are ample opportunities in-house, and opportunities to go back and forth between in-house and law firms (as I have done). We still have a long way to go, but that flexibility is crucial to fostering an environment where women can thrive.