Osler hosts Annual Women's Event featuring keynote speaker Amy Shira Teitel

May Cheng, Karin Sachar

Nov 2, 2020

On October 20, 2020, female lawyers from all six of Osler’s offices came together for an hour of inspiration and conversation at our Annual Women's Event. Hosted by the Osler Women Lawyers Network (OWLN), this event is an important opportunity for knowledge sharing and discussion and is part of a wider initiative to support women in achieving success in their careers and to promote diversity in our workplace and community. It also offers the chance to hear about and learn from the experiences of extraordinary women.

This year’s virtual event featured keynote speaker Amy Shira Teitel, a Canadian author, popular science writer, spaceflight historian, YouTuber and occasional TV personality. Amy's latest book, Fighting for Space, tells the incredible true stories of Jackie Cochran and Jerrie Cobb, two female pilots who battled each other and male-dominant 1960s America in pursuit of becoming the first woman in space. Looking closely at these two figures, Amy discussed what it takes to succeed as a female trailblazer and leader in a male-dominated industry.

Osler intellectual property partner May Cheng introduced Amy at the event, and Karin Sachar, litigation partner and the national Co-Chair of OWLN, facilitated a lively discussion that delved into the fascinating lives of Jackie Cochran and Jerrie Cobb, who both became record-setting pilots — Jackie had even held more records than any other pilot, female or male, of the twentieth century, when she passed away in 1980.

Amy touched on several interesting topics, including why she decided to write a dual biography, the different challenges and opportunities that each woman faced and how their lives interacted. She also discussed how they navigated the expectations for women in their careers at that time, how their stories played out in the media (versus what had happened in their real lives) and the lessons learned that we could take away and apply today for becoming female trailblazers.

OWLN works to promote diversity and was created by and for members of the Osler community to encourage and support the advancement of women through social and networking events, informal mentoring and coaching, pro bono and volunteer initiatives, business development opportunities, and new recruitment programs.

View a replay of our Annual Women's Event featuring keynote speaker Amy Shira Teitel.