In this podcast, Betiayn Tursi, the global chair and co-founder of the Women In Law Empowerment Form (WILEF), talks about why women should build a social media presence, and how it can enhance their professional development.
Podcast Show Notes
Betiayn is responsible for the strategy and growth of WILEF. For more than 30 years Betiayn has been a voice for women in law firms. She is a sought-after speaker, is frequently quoted and is a published author on subjects focusing on women in law issues.
Connect with Betty on the WILEF website.
From your perspective, why do women lawyers hesitate to promote themselves?
I think it has something to do with what their mothers told them, which was to “keep your head down and do good work”. Millennials that I meet have mothers who were in the workplace, but the generation before that didn’t have this. The younger women today want to promote themselves but aren’t quite sure how to do it without over or under doing it. It’s hard to find the right balance.
What is the difference between men and women when it comes to self-promotion?
The men have a head start because they promote themselves through friendships and golf courses. Women have those opportunities too, but there’s an innate shyness to promote themselves and say “hey, I’m a great lawyer”. Men have no problem saying this, but a lot of the women I’ve counseled have been confused with what the right balance is in regards to self-promotion.
How can social media enhance a female lawyer’s profile?
It’s an excellent tool and an important one at that. LinkedIn is one of the greatest tools to be involved in for professional women. Here’s the thing: while there are important tools to promote oneself, there’s a secret sauce! They can promote themselves both professionally and personally. Women connect with their audience much easier than men do. Women can connect through children, hobbies, or even other common interests!
What is the most effective way to combine traditional PR methods with Social media?
I think you have to be your own PR firm. I know the PR people will hate me for this, but I think you are your own best self-promoter. You know what you’re good at and what you can bring to the table. Lawyers at speaking engagements are important, the writing of bylined articles is important, but with social media, there is a tremendous opportunity to become famous! But you have to be willing to take the risk of doing it. You can certainly promote yourself on social media that’s both palatable to you and your audience.
What do you think about the increase in women-run law firms?
WILEF is going to select 10 women-owned law firms to invite to our annual meeting this year. I’m a big fan of women-owned businesses, especially law firms. I think it’s very brave for women to go out and do it. In a lot of instances, these women want to practice the kind of law that they want to practice. I have to tell you that the women-owned firms that I’m familiar with are small but very successful. Also, I think it’s interesting that a lot of these big law firms give business to these women-owned firms. At the end of the day, this is fabulous and takes a lot of guts to do.
I would say, be bold. Certainly, the men are bold. You have to stand up for what you believe in, and make sure that if you’re in marketing or are a woman lawyer, make sure you hook your wagon to a star. Report to the decision makers, always.