There’s a scarcity of girls in science, technology, engineering, and math. And there’s still a 17 percentage gender hole in pay—throughout the board—in all of the prison (18 percent at Big Law). But within the felony generation network are many women with thriving careers. Monica Bay recently interviewed Kisha A. Brown, forty, founder and CEO at Justis Connection. Home base: College Park, Maryland.
Education: Wellesley College, B.A. 2000. Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. 2004. I am barred in Maryland.
Current task: Justis Connection is an internet platform devoted to connecting lawyers of color with new clients the use of a more personalized technique. We are devoted to empowering the community via lively engagement and educational series. We accept as true with a higher-informed neighbor is better-organized to proactively have interaction the prison gadget.
At any point to your schooling did you don’t forget a career in science, technology, engineering or math? No, I always stayed far from STEM. The ultimate time I took a math route was junior yr in high school. Those subjects had been never of the hobby to me and me by no means considered them to be an area that I might eventually pursue as a profession. I haven’t been a conventional attorney in over a decade spending the maximum of my career in coverage and legislative affairs, so the progression into entrepreneurism through legal tech was a surprising evolution.
Your first paid job? Babysitting my neighbor’s kids once I become 13 years antique. I stored the cash through the years and purchased my first automobile at 16.
Your “first seat at the table” and how did that revel in have an effect on you? An early experience changed into attending private faculty inside the South wherein I changed into the best black youngster in high school. I continuously changed into place inside the role to guard and/or give an explanation for all things no longer white. Although demanding at instances, the revel in became a precious education ground for lifestyles. It becomes difficult experiencing unfiltered white privilege early in existence wherein wealth changed into notably valued and those who did no longer exploit it was ostracized and marginalized.
There are nevertheless usually that I am the simplest black/lady/man or woman at the table; however, now when I show up and I am the “only,” I am no longer intimidated or sensitive to my otherness. After all, I’ve been doing this when you consider that excessive faculty.
First obstacle and the way you overcame it: Building my business—identifying what I didn’t recognize. I applied for (and usual) the LexisNexis Legal Tech Accelerator program to connect to different prison tech marketers. We were at special tiers of development—clever humans figuring out the dynamics of constructing a business in an industry this is especially tough. Knowing I changed into now not on my own in my quest became a huge consolation, and the exposure with top charge information and those made me greater confidence in my felony tech adventure.
Most flagrant sexism you personally encountered and how did you cope with it? While I turned into working as the director for legislative affairs for the legal professional widespread of Maryland, I became robotically confused by numerous male legislators. They might provide lengthy hugs and lingering gazes, use demeaning language and make unprofessional advances. One of the most flagrant occurred in the corridor of the House of Delegates. A most egregious delegate noticed me speakme with colleagues and proceeded to yell in my direction, “The Lord is my shepherd, He is aware of what I want!” I became embarrassed and irritated. I rolled my eyes and not noted the legislator as other guys in earshot gave the entirety from a polite snigger to a thrilled chortle.
I had decided early to not indulge the sexist acts and focus on retaining professional decorum and respectful relationships. The legislature was a well-known loose-for-all summer camp surroundings, earlier than the #MeToo movement—so I by no means suggested any incident. Things have changed, including that legislator who is now not there.
Who changed into your maximum vital mentor and why? Wayne Curry changed into the first black man elected county government of Prince George’s County—a Washington, D.C. Suburb recognized for being one of the wealthiest predominantly black counties within us of a. He was a fearless leader who becomes ambitious, assured and unapologetically annoying of the high-quality for his county and his human beings. Curry regularly shared his know-how with me that both stimulated and grounded me. Now as an entrepreneur, I reflect on how his life’s work became so dynamic, which includes politics, a felony profession and as a business guy.
Advice for younger ladies: Allow yourself to explore different options—beyond the restrictions of what your mother and father envision or your college encourages. Life is unscripted for everybody, and the nice reviews appear while you go together with the flow. Don’t be afraid of now not understanding—you’re not the handiest one figuring it out as you move.
Five favored era tools:
Microsoft Surface Book 2. My new laptop is dope.
Linkedin. Connect with specialists and construct your brand.
Waze. Get me where I’m going without site visitors considering that I’m often going for walks by myself time.
Zoom. Great way to connect with a couple of humans in exceptional places.
Mega CRM that handles multiple features.
The book that inspired you? “The Power of Now by way of Eckhart Tolle”—It speaks to getting from your head and being the gift and in a country of being that is going with the drift. It reinforces the practice of focus and how you display up within the global. (And “Malcolm X Speaks” via Malcolm X & George Breitman—Malcolm X was laser-focused on the liberation and empowerment of Black people.)
Favorite excursion venue: Silver Sands, Trelawny, Jamaica—our own family reunion vicinity for the reason that ’80s. We relax and rejuvenate. Best food, humans and awe-inspiring terrain. It’s 1/2 of my historical past and a huge part of my life.
Your mantra: Connecting is vital. There’s a difference between assembly a person and connecting. It’s a small international, and connecting with people is what enriches our lives and is the approach to share our talents with the world.