Kristin Sverchek, general counsel of Lyft Inc., helped her team reach a settlement with California drivers that maintained their status as independent contractors—a huge win for the company and the gig economy at large.
Who’s the best leader you’ve seen in action and why?
Hillary Clinton and [U.S. Sen.] Elizabeth Warren are shining examples of excellent leadership. Though I haven’t been lucky enough to personally witness either in action, their grace and courage in a disturbing and tumultuous political climate (dealing with issues of national importance) is inspirational.
If I weren’t working in tech, I’d be …
Reading books with my children, all day every day.
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—sunshine is the best disinfectant. The fact that these issues have been lurking beneath the surface is no real surprise for any woman working in tech, but companies were generally not compelled to act because the behavior was swept under the rug and tolerated. The fact that a spotlight has now been shined on this culture should (hopefully) mean that it will not persist.
What piece of advice do you have for young lawyers in tech?
Learn to be business-minded. An overly conservative lawyer is one that loses effectiveness with clients (even when in-house).
If I could change one thing about working in tech, it would be …
The expectation of always being online. Although I’m not even certain that tech is the only industry like that—it may just be the world that we live in today.