Women’s History Month 2021 – Reflections From Fox Attorneys

To mark Women’s History Month, we asked attorneys throughout the firm to reflect on the watershed events and glass ceiling-shattering leaders in the fight for gender equity that have inspired them on a professional or personal level. Their memories testify to the perseverance and courage of women from all walks of life, the remarkable progress these pioneers have made possible on the journey toward equality and the significant work that remains to be done.


What historical event resonates/inspires you and why?

It was October 1991, and I remember sitting at the desk in my college dorm room, enrapt listening to Anita Hill speak truth to power during the all-white, all-male Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.  Her poise and endurance under intense pressure were an inspiration to me, and to so many others who saw her testimony as a rallying cry to diversify Congress and eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.

Catherine T. Barbieri

Catherine T. Barbieri
Partner
Philadelphia


What figure(s) in women's history has influenced your career? How?

While an undergraduate studying math at UCLA, I took a job at a litigation law firm as an entry-level clerk even though I had no interest in the law. The firm was home to former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, a retired judicial officer and one female partner, Dorothy Woolpert, whose name appeared on the door along with five men. The firm also had two associates: one man and one woman. From my vantage point, Ms. Woolpert was just another partner, and Robin just another associate. But I saw that women could have a seat at the table. Law suddenly appeared much more open to women than the hard sciences I was studying, and so I applied to law school and have loved my career in the law.

Raquel Sefton

Raquel L. Sefton
Partner
San Francisco


What historical event resonates/inspires you and why?

The passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote after a long struggle to win that right is very inspiring.  It was a much-needed and slowly obtained step toward breaking the glass ceiling. We still have a way to go to reach true equality.

Sandra C. Fava

Sandra C. Fava
Partner
Morristown, NJ


What figure(s) in women’s history has influenced your career? How?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  She was an example to all women, not just attorneys, to show that with hard work, dedication, and proper support from family, you can break the glass ceiling and achieve more than you expected.  In the gaming arena, and while she will likely not want to be considered a woman of history, Patty Becker was a tremendous influence.  She was General Counsel for Harrah’s Corporation in the 1980s when I was a paralegal at Harrah’s Atlantic City.  When in Atlantic City, she would talk with the members of the legal department and I was always impressed that as a female she had achieved that position at that time. She was one of the reasons that I decided to go to law school. 

Marie Jiacopello Jones

Marie Jiacopello Jones
Partner
Atlantic City