Shannon Sibold is an associate in our Palo Alto office. Her practice focuses on corporate and securities matters, including private financings, mergers and acquisitions, emerging growth companies and corporate governance.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day provides me with an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the incredible, fearless work that the women who have come before us have done to promote and advance the rights and place of women in society. It does not escape me that thanks to generations of women, who have pushed for gender parity and to shed societal roles and norms, I have an opportunity to live in a place and work in an environment where I can honestly say that on a day to day basis I do not think about my gender and whether I am differentiated or hindered as a result of it. At the same time, International Women’s Day brings to light the work, throughout the world and within this country that still needs to be done to further empower women, promote gender equality and protect and promote the lives of women. We still have so far to go!
How can women be bold for change in their professional lives?
I think women should not be afraid to have big dreams for their professional lives — and relentlessly pursue excellence. Too often, I think, we put limits on ourselves, based on societal pressures, self-doubt and fear of failure. It has been my experience in watching and learning from some absolute giants of women, some of whom who have excelled athletically, and others professionally, that they do not look at the world in terms of categories, roles or things that they can and cannot achieve. They strive to be excellent, and excellence is not measured or categorized by gender or status.
What woman most inspires you, and why?
My good friend Crystal Phillips was a rising star Canadian speed skater when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Despite the ailment, she continued on and had a successful skating career, but even more notably, she founded and built a charity that raises money for neuromuscular disorders. Crystal is fiercely optimistic, has dedicated her life to improving the lives of others afflicted with similar ailments and has, through relentless work, built up a charity from an idea on a page to a million dollar charitable organization. Crystal inspires me to remember that as doors close and we fall short of our dreams, as we do, other opportunities present themselves — we just have to be bold enough to seize them.