This meeting was held at 12:00 PM via Zoom.
This meeting was recorded and can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/653891394/9ae2c387e2.
Sara Forte - Forte Law
Bena Stock - Bena Stock Counselling & Consulting
Alice Davidson - MOGO Inc.
Ellen Gavin - Impact Reruitment
Ellen Gavin, legal recruiter at Impact Recruitment, Sara Forte, founder of Forte Law and the Not Your Average Law Job project, and Alice Davidson, Chief Legal Officer at Mogo Inc., shared their respective stories about their unique career trajectories and how they’ve found meaning in their professional lives. The discussion was moderated by Bena Stock, former lawyer turned counselor and workplace wellness consultant.
We explored topics like:
· what female lawyers are looking for these days beyond compensation and how they are negotiating in order to get it;
· unique career trajectories including founding your own firm and moving in-house;
· career alternatives for lawyers who want to make a change;
· the role and influence of women lawyers in senior positions; and
· important and useful resources for lawyers looking to make a career transition.
Sara Forte is a lawyer, speaker, entrepreneur, community builder, mother and backyard henkeeper. After 12 years of practice as a labour and employment lawyer, Sara founded Forte Law in 2016, a boutique employment law firm with offices in Surrey and Calgary. The firm has grown to a team of 12 who advise employers, employees, and unions on all aspects of labour and employment law and workplace human rights. In 2019, after seeing the great harm caused by workplace harassment and discrimination over nearly 15 years of practice, Sara was determined to help organizations make proactive changes. She launched a new respectful workplace offering, StandUP Teams™. This program includes bystander training, an emerging best practice that she wrote about recently in Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Sara’s newest venture is Not Your Average Law Job, launched in June 2021, with the goal of shining a light on the broad diversity of legal practice. Not Your Average Law includes profiles of happy lawyers, resources for lawyers considering career change, and job postings.
Ellen Gavin is the Practice Lead of Impact Recruitment’s legal division in Vancouver. The legal division currently works with 170 law firms of which Ellen directly manages 70 across British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta. Her role is to ensure that every client receives white glove service, knows as soon as new candidates are available and as well, is kept up to date with the latest market intelligence. Ellen speaks with female lawyers on a regular basis regarding their career, and what they seek in terms of professional growth, personal fulfillment, and compensation. She explores the best options available to them, and when it comes down to negotiating at offer stage, she ensures they are equipped with the best tips and advice on what they are entitled to, and all the while making sure there is no gender bias from our clients. In Ellen’s spare time she enjoys exploring the outdoors through the beautiful seasons, frequently eating at, and experiencing new restaurants, and taking good care of her plants since she unfortunately can’t have pets in her Kitsilano apartment.
Alice Davidson is the Chief Legal Officer at Mogo Inc.– a digital payments and financial technology company empowering its more than 1.6 million members with simple digital solutions to improve their finances. Ms. Davidson has supported Mogo from a legal, regulatory & compliance perspective in the launch of all its products, its expansion across Canada and its listing on the TSX and Nasdaq. She plays a key role in Mogo’s strategic initiatives, including its acquisitions, investments, financings and partnerships, government relations and manages Mogo’s Board of Directors. She serves as Mogo's Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer and Privacy Officer. Prior to her role at Mogo, she was an associate in the Corporate/Securities group at Stikeman Elliott LLP. While pursuing her law degree, Ms. Davidson was a Contracts Associate at Xantrex Technology Inc. (TSX: XTX) and managed the legal department following the company’s sale to Schneider Electric. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business and a Juris Doctor from the Allard School of Law at UBC. She is a member of Women General Counsel Canada, the Association of Corporate Counsel, TechGC and the Law Society of British Columbia.
Bena Stock is a former litigation lawyer. She practised law for 24 years, primarily in the areas of professional negligence and insurance defence; 21 years at Harper Grey LLP, and 2 1/2 years at the Lawyers Insurance Fund, now the Lawyers Indemnity Fund. While working at LIF as claims counsel, she discovered that the role she enjoyed most was helping lawyers with the emotions that sometimes accompanied reporting an error or a possible error. She decided to retire from law to obtain a master’s degree in counselling so she could make lawyer well-being her full-time job. Bena is the founder of Bena Stock Counselling & Consulting. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and a member of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors. Bena is also a former Associate Director of the Lawyers Assistance Program of BC. She has helped many clients in the areas of anxiety, depression, anger management, relationships, as well as career coaching, and career transition. Bena believes in strength-based counselling and works toward helping clients discover and build on their strengths, while learning new strategies to overcome life’s challenges. Bena is married to a commercial litigator and together they raised two daughters, so she knows the joys and challenges of balancing career and family. Bena is an avid road cyclist and has participated in several grand fondos in BC and Europe. She also enjoys hiking, skiing, and cooking, and has a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Duration of meeting was 1.5 hours. Of this, 1.50 hours can be counted towards CPD.
Submitted by Section Liaison Officer: Faith Brown