Name: Jennifer Zourigui
Company Name: Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti, LLP
Women have made significant progress in the last year towards equality in the workplace. How do you advocate for your fellow women in real estate?
I believe a big part of advocating for women is providing mentorship. I have been actively involved for several years in the mentorship program of the New York chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, which promotes the collaboration and networking among women. I found sharing my successes, and celebrating them, with other women is a great way to inspire women to become their own advocates. In sharing stories about my path, from smaller milestones like taking on a leadership roles in managing cases, to larger accomplishments such as more recently becoming an equity owner of the firm, I opened a dialogue with other women about how they can work to achieve their own professional goals. Success can be contagious.
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
In my experience, both as a team member and leader, the key to keeping team members happy and motivated is to treat them with respect. This can take many forms: the way you communicate with people, the way you reward them, how you mentor them, and how you value their efforts and their time. Words of encouragement can go a long way. Also, while staying connected (and on top of what team members are working on) is important, it can be equally important to provide them with independence.
What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm?
Key to our firm’s continued success is the strength of our relationships–both internally and externally. I have worked with my partners to build a solid team so that we can provide our clients with the highest level of legal services that they have come to expect. I have also focused, with my partners, on developing the relationships with our clients so they know we are accessible and we are well aware that they need us to “lawyer” for them in a manner that allows them to accomplish their business goals, whether their matter is big or small. These solid relationships with co-workers and clients are at the core of our firm’s success and building upon and strengthening them are instrumental to our continued success.