Women's History Month Employee Spotlight | Abigail Peabody & Krista WarrenBlog Post
In honor of Women’s History Month, and as part of BMD’s ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts, we are featuring two of our female attorneys with an employee spotlight.
Q: How would you describe your experience working in the legal industry?
Abby: My experience has been both challenging and fulfilling.
Krista: Challenging, invigorating, and rewarding. The best part (and sometimes the most complicated part) is that oftentimes no two legal issues are the same. I find the problem-solving aspect of my job to be energizing, and helping clients solve various legal issues through different channels (State Court, Federal Court, ADR such as mediation and arbitration) to be rewarding.
Q: What influenced you to pursue the construction industry as one of your areas of focus?
Abby: Some of my very first assignments as a first-year attorney were defending design-professionals against errors and omissions claims. These early experiences gave me a deep appreciation for design professionals and their commitment to inclusivity and diversity in their profession.
Krista: I enjoy construction law cases because it frequently puts your problem-solving skills to the test from the onset of the case. I have worked primarily in construction defect cases where a problem (oftentimes significant) is identified, and we must diligently work backward to determine the root cause(s) of the problem. I have genuinely enjoyed getting to know and understand the various aspects and elements of construction, including architectural, engineering, and all the specialized in-betweens (e.g. geotechnical engineering). Said otherwise, in construction law, you get to learn a little bit of everything, which I find pleasing.
Q: As a woman, what are some of the most significant barriers you had to overcome to thrive in this industry? How did you overcome them?
Abby: As a woman working in the legal industry, particularly dealing with construction-related matters, I’m often the only woman in the room. I use this to my advantage by providing a different perspective for our clients.
Krista: As a younger female litigator, one of the challenges I identified early on in my career was that oftentimes I am the youngest and only female in the room, which kicked feelings of imposter syndrome into overdrive. With time, I was able to prove to myself that who else was in the room didn’t really matter, so long as I had spent time preparing for whatever it may be (depositions, hearing, mediation, etc.) to promote the client’s interest. As cliché as it is, everything gets easier with time and practice. This is a mantra that I still live by when I am doubting myself in situations for no reason but my own projections.
Q: Since you have been in the legal industry, how have you seen the industry change in relation to women in the field?
Abby: I can’t speak for the legal industry at large because I’ve only been practicing for 3 years. But since I’ve started practicing, BMD has demonstrated its commitment to supporting its women lawyers through the creation of our Empowerment & Opportunity Committee, which aims to foster a sense of belonging and respect so that everyone is empowered to work, act and be their authentic selves.
Krista: I have a few fun anecdotes, but most recently, I was taking a deposition a few weeks ago and everyone in the room aside from the deponent (three lawyers, a law clerk, and the court reporter) was a woman! I think it is fair to say that women lawyers are truly “pulling up a chair to the table”, and it’s very exciting to both be a part of and witness it happening.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to aspiring female attorneys?
Abby: Advocate for yourself! Women attorneys passionately advocate for their clients; but all too often, they may not advocate for themselves when it comes to seeking professional growth opportunities.
Krista: Neither your sex, gender, nor any other physical quality/trait defines your ability to be a great attorney. Remind yourself of what you have accomplished so far in your journey to becoming an attorney, and continue to work hard in whatever it is that you’re doing! Be proactive and seek out opportunities for you to grow (either as a lawyer - or on your path to becoming a lawyer) – don’t wait for the opportunities to come to you.
Q: What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Abby: In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abandoning its duty to protect the rights of women to make personal decisions about family, relationships, and bodily autonomy. This marks the first time in history that the Supreme Court has taken away a fundamental right. This year for Women’s History Month, I’m reminded that although women have come a long way in the fight for equality, there is still much work to be done in order to achieve and protect the rights of women and girls. We must constantly advocate for our right to live free from violence and discrimination; to earn an equal wage; to receive the highest possible standard of physical and mental health; and to be educated.
Krista: Women’s History Month is an important reminder that so many women before me have fought for the equalities that I do have, and so many women beside me and after me will continue to advocate against inequalities that women are actively experiencing locally, nationally, and globally.
Q: Is there a woman in your life that inspires you? Who?
Abby: My mom – her infinite wisdom is a constant source of inspiration.
Krista: My mom is my best friend and one of the strongest women I know. I recall conversations with my mom from a young age where she emphasized the importance of independence, hard work, and grit. Without her guidance and support, I would not be where I am today.