Maureen Ho is a partner at Morrison & Foerster (International) LLP. Maureen’s practice focuses on advising private equity and real estate funds, and financial and corporate investors on all aspects of their investment cycle, including private and public mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs, infrastructure investments, and joint ventures, as well as pre-IPO investments, bolt-on acquisitions, and corporate restructurings. Maureen also has experience advising clients on corporate carve-outs, management buy-outs and general corporate matters. She was recently named as a Rising Star in the Private Equity category in the Asia-Pacific region by International Financial Law Review (IFLR).
Why is it important to celebrate Women’s History Month/International Women’s Day?
To me, it’s simple. We don’t celebrate women’s contributions enough and we need the time to reflect on the progress made toward giving all women and girls a globally equal future. In 2022, it is particularly important to recognize that, during the past two years, women stand on the front lines at homes and at work during the COVID-19 crisis.
What changes have you seen in the course of your career that have paved the way for women’s advancement?
In the legal industry, almost all international law firms published formal policies on zero tolerance for sexual assault and harassment and implemented parental leave for both husbands and wives. Legal journals published statistics on women’s representation like Law360’s Glass Ceiling Report, to recognize leading workplaces for women in our industry like MoFo. Recently many law firms changed their billable hours policy giving billable credit for diversity and inclusion efforts and MoFo is one of them.
What would be the most meaningful action that allies could undertake to help advance women in the workplace?
To start to be seen to be effectively promoting others (including women), I think it’s important to start to know individuals on a more personal level, ensure each individual in the workplace gets to speak and participate where possible, and call out any gender bias or inequality. It’s key to understand not only the ability and constraints (if any) of female individuals but also the perception and hesitation (if any) of others. Getting over unconscious biases is tough and it takes genuine communication.