March 8, 2022 - MoFo Women

International Women’s Day: Lisa Silverman

Lisa N. Silverman focuses on patent portfolio management and strategic patent counseling in the areas of chemistry and life sciences. She has extensive experience in securing U.S. and foreign patent protection for pharmaceutical products and a deep understanding of patent lifecycle management and strategies for maximizing patent term. In addition to pharmaceuticals, Dr. Silverman also works with clients in the areas of clean technology, bioassays, and medical devices.

Why is it important to celebrate Women’s History Month/International Women’s Day?

As a society we have made huge gains in achieving gender parity in the workplace. There is an ever increasing number of women in leadership positions, the pay differences between men and women are decreasing, and more and more employers are recognizing the benefits of a diverse workforce. We see more companies providing gender neutral benefits such as parental leave policies that apply equally to all employees regardless of gender. We see more laws requiring women to be represented at the highest levels, such as California’s mandate to advance equitable gender representation on corporate boards. Despite all of these gains and the positive trajectory we are on, we are not all the way there yet. More work is needed to get to true gender equality in the workplace, to have women represented in leadership roles in proportion to their prevalence in the overall population, and to eliminate gender bias in the workplace. It is important to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day both to acknowledge and take pride in how far we’ve come and also to remind ourselves that we still have a lot more to do.

What changes have you seen in the course of your career that have paved the way for women’s advancement?

I think some of the recent pandemic-related changes in in how we work have been a real boon to women’s advancement. Despite huge gains in women’s participation in the workforce and especially in leadership roles, child care and housework duties still often fall disproportionately on women. This is one reason why we see more women than men dropping out of the workplace or shifting to less demanding roles as they advance in their careers. The move to remote work can help to alleviate some of these challenges by making it easier to juggle work and family responsibilities. As a small example, it’s been a huge help on days when I work from home to have the flexibility to pick up my kids from school at a convenient time during the day and then return to working, rather than having the stress of leaving the office by a specific time and hoping the traffic will allow me to get the kids before the afterschool program closes. I think the flexibility afforded by remote or partially remote work arrangements has and will continue to give women more power and ownership over their own schedules and allow them to have more options to balance work and life.

Tell us about the woman who most influenced your career and how she motivated you.

I have spent my entire legal career at MoFo and have been fortunate work in a practice group led by so many strong, successful women partners. Rather than naming one person in particular, I have to give a huge amount of credit to all of the women partners in the MoFo Patent Prosecution Group, past and present. These partners collectively and individually nurtured me from the start of my career and continue to do so to this day. It’s been amazing to learn from and have the support of such an incredible cohort of successful women and to have them as role models. I’ve always felt respected and supported not only as a lawyer but as a person who has a family and interests outside of work. As I have grown over the years to become a leader in the practice group, I have made it a priority to pay it forward by mentoring and nurturing the next generation of attorneys and patent agents to make sure they feel valued not just as practitioners but as people.