Kara Ricupero, director of e-discovery, records and information management at eBay Inc., worked directly with Slack and internal eBay IT to develop a collection and preservation tool for the application, used heavily by eBay’s IT and engineering groups.
Who’s the best leader you’ve seen in action and why?
Sandra Day O’Connor. As a law student and young attorney early in my career I had a chance to meet her numerous times and saw her in action at several Federal Bar Association events. She always commanded the room, was incredibly knowledgeable and firm in her positions but not overbearing. People respected her and she used that to inspire and motivate them. Her opinions and positions were always well researched such that even when you disagreed with her, you typically had to respect the fact that she was not simply taking that position based on a blind following of her political leanings. She was a pioneer for women in the legal profession and she inspired and elevated the women coming after her.
After the events that have rocked Silicon Valley this year, are you more or less hopeful about the prospects for women in the tech industry?
I am more hopeful. Simply by virtue of the fact that we are talking about these things and that they are being surfaced publicly indicates to me that there is meaningful change on the horizon. I see companies like mine being mindful of how they can provide more opportunities for women in tech, to level the playing field, and to elevate women to more leadership positions.
Do lawyers bear any special responsibility in addressing gender stereotyping and discrimination in tech?
Absolutely. We hold a unique advisory position with our clients and colleagues where we can help change those stereotypes and shape a new, more progressive view within the corporate landscape. We also have an express ethical responsibility to do so.
What piece of advice do you have for young lawyers in tech?
Be innovative, extremely collaborative, and take the time to get to know your technology collaborators. Take your IT partners out to lunch and find out what keeps them up at night.
If I weren’t working in tech, I’d be …
A research psychologist.