What advice would you offer to women
just starting out in the industry?
Work hard, assert your right to be involved
on the best projects, and build your own
client base through networking and
relationship building. Listen and learn,
but speak up. Your views are important,
and people need to hear them. Arrange
your life and work so that your career and
efforts are sustainable. My most practical
advice is to arrange things so that your
workplace, home and children’s school
(if applicable) are all as close together as
possible. Excessive commute time can be
a time and energy waste and drain. If you
need to get from one of these places to the
other quickly or unexpectedly, proximity is
a lifesaver. This one item alone can relieve
a lot of stress in your daily existence and
boost your productivity and happiness.
What do you know now that you wish you
knew in the beginning of your career?
You don’t have to accept discrimination
or harassment. It is not the norm. It is not
people along the way who have provided
guidance and advice that helped me
advance my career. I have been more suc-
cessful in being a mentor, in part because
I realize the importance of mentoring and
that it is not readily available for everyone.
You may need to be proactive in seeking a
mentor, and many people are happy and
honored to serve in this capacity. I make
myself available and respond positively
when contacted for mentoring or advice.
What do you think the industry could
do to attract and retain the best and the
While making sure that compensation
and benefits are competitive is important,
money and perks are no longer the defining factors in attracting and retaining the
best talent. Businesses must show that
they are innovative and forward-thinking,
have the most current and productive
technology, are inclusive and open-minded
in their hiring and staffing practices, and
are adapting to a rapidly changing, global
business environment. Businesses should
provide employees with appropriate and
effective professional development, as
well as opportunities that allow employees to feel fulfilled and productive beyond
just doing a job and getting paid.
just the way it is everywhere. This concern
may not be an issue now so much as it was
in the early part of my career, but some
workplaces still have a culture that fosters
outright or unintentional bias. If you suspect this is the case in your workplace or
if your work situation is unacceptable for
any other reason, it is advisable to move
on as soon as possible. People tend to be
complacent and think it won’t be any better somewhere else, but many opportunities are available and there is no reason to
stay in a place that treats women or other
groups unfairly. Don’t be afraid to make a
move if your gut is telling you things aren’t
right. Most likely you will be surprised at
how different another work environment
can be; and, if you wait too long, you won’t
believe you put up with an unacceptable
situation as long as you did.
What kind of role has mentoring and/or
sponsorship played in your career?
My observation is that having a mentor
can be key to your success. It is important
to seek out mentors even if they are not
readily or naturally available. Seeking or
accepting a mentor comes easily to some
people and is more difficult for others. I’m
one of those people who has had difficulty
finding mentors, but there have been a few
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
subordinated debt, mezzanine debt financings, letters of credit, loan workouts, DIP
financings and debt restructurings.
Nan’s experience includes a wide variety of industries and collateral types including
telecommunications, entertainment, media, fine art, technology, health care, insurance, real estate, energy, rolling stock and aircraft. She has experience with collection strategies, foreclosures, and borrower representation. Nan also represents clients
in derivative transactions, including interest rate swaps.
She is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Banking and Finance Law and Texas Super
Lawyers, and is rated AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5 by Martindale-Hubbell®.
Nan is a member of the: American Bar Association (including Business Law Section
and Section of Science and Technology Law), Dallas Bar Association, State Bar of
Texas, Association for Corporate Growth, Turnaround Management Association,
Texas Association of Bank Counsel and The Women’s Finance Exchange.