29 January 2021

What being a 'minority leader of influence' means to me


On January 25, 2021, Los Angeles-based Withers attorneys Gina Bibby and Michael Brophy were recognized as ‘Minority Leaders of Influence’ by the Los Angeles Business Journal for being “particularly impactful on the legal scene, while serving as trusted advisors, along with maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards.”

Gina Bibby is an intellectual property and technology partner in the business division and head of the firm’s fashion tech practice. Michael Brophy is a partner in the trust, estate and inheritance disputes team and regional division leader for the private client and tax group. Both are active in furthering diversity and inclusion, both within Withers and in the community.

In their own words, Gina and Michael share what this honor means to them.

Gina Bibby

Being selected as a minority leader of influence is truly an honor. When I joined Withers in the fall of 2019, I could never have imagined that only months later, life as I once knew it would change so drastically. The pandemic was life altering for sure, but the killing of George Floyd became a watershed moment for me. I began to think more deeply about race and racism in America. I came to the conclusion that the eradication of racism in America may never be a destination, but simply a journey. If I can represent hope, expectation and what is possible for multi-racial and black girls that I encounter along the way, the journey will not be in vain.

Michael Brophy

It is an honor to be recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a minority leader of influence. ‘Leadership’ and ‘influence’ are two important words to the LGBTQ+ legal community. Leadership can mean good public policy—like having federal and state leaders implementing protections and policies aimed at protecting and celebrating our minority communities. Leadership can mean active community involvement—like participation in affinity bar groups, pride events, and public service. Leadership can mean being active in one’s law firm and business—like being involved in diversity and inclusion events and recruiting and mentoring diverse team members. But for the LGBTQ+ community, leadership can be as simple as being an out and successful member of our business community. Leading by example is a key to serving as role models for our LGBTQ+ and questioning youth. LGTBQ+ visibility, through positive and active representation of LGBTQ+ lawyers in the community, play an important positive role in influencing the community to confront bias and homophobia.

The LGBTQ+ community has made significant progress tackling systemic obstacles and homophobia in part because we have a history of brave and creative leaders. It is, therefore, a huge honor to be recognized as a ‘minority leader’ because it is those types of leaders who are pivotal to making positive change.

Authors

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