Building Inclusive Cultures Through Mentoring (Work from the Inside Out with Tammy Gooler | July 2022)

Lisa Fain grew up in a family of lawyers and while there was no obvious pressure, she ended up going to law school. She had envisioned a career in public interest law, but upon graduation, she had significant student loan debt which she wanted to clear before moving forward. Fortunately, Lisa was able to work in an area that interested her, labor and employment law, while squaring away her loan, working for a large law firm. She enjoyed counseling clients, using her negotiation and mediation skills while focusing on matters pertaining to EEO, diversity, and compliance.

Yet, still, Lisa knew this was not the way she wanted to work. The turning point came after she had pulled an all-nighter preparing for a litigation case. She saw a blinking light on her phone indicating she had a voicemail. It was a message from her four-year-old daughter. She said “Mommy come home. We need a mommy, not a lawyer.” Lisa shared, “It was the worst best gift I ever got because I recognized that I wasn’t living my values. Although I was doing great work, I wasn’t able to be the kind of mother that I wanted to be.”

Lisa left the large firm and transitioned to an in-house role at a company where she developed workplace policies, eventually focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. She loved the work and demand across the company grew. Lisa was asked to create a mentoring program so she reached out to Lois Zachary of the Center for Mentoring Excellence to provide consultation on how to set it up. Full disclosure: Lois is Lisa’s mother!

Fast forward to today: Lisa is the CEO of the Center for Mentoring Excellence. She is a global speaker with expertise in cultural competency and mentoring. Her passion for diversity and inclusion fuels her conviction that leveraging differences creates a better workplace and drives better business results.

In this week’s Work From The Inside Out podcast, learn more about Lisa’s journey: