#PressforProgress: Akari Atoyama-Little

Akari Atoyama-Little is an associate in our San Francisco office in our Litigation Group.

 What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women’s achievements and victories, and to reflect on what remains to be done to achieve gender parity. I appreciate the fact that it is a historical and global movement that brings women together from all corners of the world, even though we may face different challenges day to day: from being free from abuse, to having access to birth control, to being heard.

It is also a day of solidarity. So often blame is individualized when women face difficulties—at work and elsewhere. That’s why the #MeToo movement is important; there is power in realizing that it is not just you.

Describe a way that you’ve seen a colleague at MoFo press for progress.

I have been fortunate enough to work with many partners who staff their matters with attorneys with the most relevant skillset, regardless of their gender. It’s a point of pride to represent our clients with a diverse team and diverse viewpoints, to challenge ourselves, and to succeed in our cases.

What woman most inspires you, and why?

I find researcher and author Brené Brown very inspiring. She writes on topics like vulnerability, courage, shame, and authenticity. Her work is about showing up and letting yourself be seen, which may not always come naturally to women who work in a male-dominated profession like ours.

When women continue to struggle with doing it all, Dr. Brown inspires women to exercise empathy and support each other and themselves.