Christiane Stützle is a corporate partner in MoFo’s Berlin office and is also co-chair of the firm’s global film and entertainment practice. Her practice focuses on matters in the film, music, and entertainment fields, as well as legal and strategic advice and lobbying support at all stages of the development, financing, production, and distribution of audiovisual products.
What advice would you give to the next generation of women who want to pursue a career in the legal industry?
My advice is independent of gender questions and is as follows: Believe in yourself, work hard, and have a genuine interest in the industry you are working in. Accept that in every career, there are ups and downs. Don’t take the ups with too much excitement and don’t get disappointed by the downs. Instead, learn from them, become visible, be kind to others, and motivate your team. If you live up to these values, I am sure that you will be able to influence your career.
Tell us about a female role model in your life who inspires you. How has she played a part in the movement to achieve better balance for women?
In May 2014, U.S. Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor was visiting Germany to present her book, My Beloved World, and I had the pleasure of meeting her. After attending the reading, I was inspired to read her book. Her journey from social housing in the Bronx to the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court is fascinating.
Her life started with a difficult childhood, and she soon determined that she could only depend on herself — and then imagined a path to a different life. She is a very impressive woman. For me, the inspiration and takeaways from her story are that you always have to believe in yourself and that hard work, fair judgment, respect for others, and living up to your values will be recognized. These actions are the key to success and to a happy life.
How do you try to influence, join the conversation, or take action to build a gender-balanced world?
In Germany, we have an ongoing debate of whether or not there should be a legally binding quota for women in leading positions. There is no easy answer to that, but I personally think that this could be a helpful approach for a limited time period to expedite the process. However, each of us must be mindful that every contribution counts and adds another mosaic stone to a gender-balanced world.
I had the pleasure of organizing the MoFo Berlin annual panel and reception on artificial intelligence at the Berlinale Film Festival, which hosted approximately 300 guests, for the past two years. This year, I wanted to improve the dynamic of the panels so I actively sought out female leaders for the topics that we covered on the panel. My efforts paid off, and as a result, we found a great group of speakers for a very gender-balanced composition.
Read more Q&As from our global community of MoFo Women here.