by Mary Rechtoris on March 05, 2019
This Friday is International Women’s Day. In honor of the occasion, we'll be launching our first 2019 interview for Stellar Women in e-Discovery. Until then, we wanted to share a quick rundown of exciting changes we are making to the Stellar Women in e-Discovery program, which may appeal to you Serial or Netflix fans out there.
From Grassroots Campaign to Podcast Series
Back in 2018, we began a series of interviews with admirable women for the Stellar Women in e-Discovery campaign. Their peers nominated them for being exceptional in the industry, whether they were championing innovation, breaking down barriers, or mentoring tomorrow’s leaders.
Mimi Singh kicked us off, and many more candidates followed. During our conversations, we discussed their careers, giving back, and navigating the legal tech field. Later, the campaign became an award at Relativity Fest 2018, with Joy Murao earning the first Innovation Award in the Stellar Women in e-Discovery category.
This year, we’re making our interviews available in true podcast form. All 2018 interviews are currently available for downloading. You can subscribe to the series wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify.
Stellar Women in e-Discovery functions similarly to Netflix favorite Black Mirror (minus the wacky plotline): you don’t need to start from Episode 1. Each interview stands alone, so you can jump into whichever piques your interest.
Reflecting with the 2018 Candidates
Before we kick off Stellar Women in e-Discovery’s 2019 series, we wanted to take a step back and talk to last year’s candidates about what the nomination meant to them. While we are making some changes to amplify the campaign, we want the overall mission to remain: to recognize and celebrate women in legal tech who are making their mark.
We spoke to a few of last year’s candidates to get their perspective on what the designation means to them and why we, as an industry, should highlight emerging female leaders.
What did the nomination(s) for Stellar Women in e-Discovery mean to you?
Sarah Cole: The nomination for Stellar Women in e-Discovery was validating. Mentorship is something meaningful to me, but it’s easy to question if your guidance has as meaningful of an impact as you hope it will. We are in an industry where we all work so hard and time is a commodity. My nomination affirmed to me that I make a difference even under those constraints.
Rebecca Grant: This showed Relativity’s commitment to playing a part in moving the dial in the quest for diverse workplaces. By honoring achievements of women in the industry, we’re actively encouraging a greater participation of women.
Joy Murao: To me this nomination has been a beautiful representation of the 24 years I’ve been in legal technology—bridging the gap between lawyers and IT. Receiving the award was the culmination of a journey I’ve taken with a lot of my peers, from law firms to service providers and technology companies. We’ve all grown and continue to thrive together. That is amazing!
Judy Torres: The aftermath of congratulatory messages and recognition is an example of the great support we have for each other in the world of e-discovery.
Why is it important to celebrate the accomplishments of women in legal tech?
SC: Women remain underrepresented in STEM fields, a product of years of socialization and implicit bias throughout society and education system discouraging women from pursuing roles in fields like technology. Celebrating the achievements of women legal tech is an important way to combat the obstacles that have led to the gross underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. It's our job to inspire the next generation of women to continue pushing past these obstacles and closer to equality.
RG: Showcasing the achievements of women through telling their stories is such a powerful message. This is how we collectively accelerate participation in and recognition for women in legal tech. Role modelling what can be done by women is a positive way to inspire action as well as shifting awareness of some of the barriers to involvement.
JM: First of all, it is important to celebrate legal technology as a whole, in order to bring more awareness of our niche industry. Showcasing the use of technology in the practice of law still lies in the shadows despite its global reach. For celebrating women, it is important to recognize and honor the huge strides we’ve made in the field of technology (in our case specifically, legal technology) to help push gender barriers and glass ceilings and allow the emergence of positive female role models that can motivate, encourage, and inspire future generations of female technology leaders.
JT: Celebrating the accomplishments of women in legal technology reinforces us to own our knowledge and realize the value of our diverse perspectives that contribute to solutions in an industry that experiences an exponential rate of technological change.
Mary Rechtoris is a member of the marketing team at Relativity, where she specializes in customer advocacy.