Counsel Helen Cook (Washington, DC-Project Development & Finance) was featured as a "Voice of Experience" on The Glass Hammer, an online community designed for women executives in financial services, law and business.
She explains that focusing on international nuclear law comes with challenges and opportunities for conquering the industry as a younger woman. “There’s a lot of gray hair at most major nuclear conferences – and it’s mostly on men. It’s probably hard to find a more male-dominated sector out there,” she says. Her hope is that more young women will be interested in a career in the sector, but she acknowledges they have to be willing to be bold and challenge themselves to do things that might seem out of step – citing the book she authored as an example. “If my boss hadn’t suggested I write it, it wouldn’t have occurred to me, but it helped establish my personal brand and reputation in the market,” she notes.
At Shearman & Sterling, she considers herself fortunate that there are many strong women leaders in the project development and finance practice and throughout the firm, as well as male mentors, who are willing to push you forward. “It’s crucial that men will put you in a room full of other men and not hesitate to give you the lead negotiating role. There have been a number of male partners who have been instrumental in pushing me into leadership roles, which have had tremendous impact on my success as a woman,” she says.