March is Women’s History Month, a chance to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Women’s History Month is a month of collective national activism and celebration that belongs to all those committed to forging women’s equality. According to womenshistorymonth.gov, the inaugural observance took place in 1987. The theme for 2024, “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” spotlights women nationwide championing the eradication of bias and discrimination. The National Women’s History Alliance articulates this year’s theme as a call to action, emphasizing the necessity of creating a future free from prejudice in all facets of society and its institutions.

We checked in with a few Fennemore women who shared their inspiring stories about women who have had a monumental impact on pursuit of their career goals, achievements they believe are celebratory and calls to action to positively advance women.

Amara L. Morrison, Director, Land Use, Fennemore Oakland

Amara Morrison

Amara Morrison (right) with her brother, Darren Whitcher and Elfriede Whitcher, her mother.

What woman has positively impacted you to pursue your career goals?

My mother positively impacted me to pursue my career goals. She immigrated from Germany when she was 14 years old, as an orphan. She spoke no English when she arrived in Detroit, Michigan and over the course of the ensuing years, she learned English, got her undergraduate degree, and earned her master’s degree in English Literature while teaching German to middle-school students. I remember my brother and I playing amidst the stacks at the university library while my mother studied for her master’s classes; she worked so very hard to achieve her degrees and to go on to teach high school English and German while raising her children.

Both my parents instilled in me a drive to pursue my career goals and dreams and have supported me throughout my education and my career.

What recent women’s achievements do you feel are celebratory?

As a female attorney and a person who is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, I am excited about the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. I also celebrate the voices of young, powerful female advocates such as Greta Thunberg and Amanda Gorman.

What call to action to positively advance women would you like to make?

Because women’s rights continue to be under attack in this country, my call to action is for women to become more involved in politics to ensure that our voices are heard and basic rights of equality and choice are defended.

Amy L. Jones, Associate, Business Litigation Fennemore Denver

Amy Jones

Amy Jones skiing with her 80+ year old “Granny”.

My “Granny” has been spectacularly impactful in my career. She is such an inspiration because she graduated first in her MBA program at 50, served as the CEO of a major company, and still skis today while in her mid-eighties! I have learned so many lessons from her about the importance of empathy and bringing people together. She regularly offers the most amazing advice, including the mantra I live by: life is hard; but when you realize it’s hard, it’s not so hard anymore. Since encouraging me to go to law school, Granny has always been my biggest cheerleader.

Elizabeth Ann Horton, Associate, Business Litigation, Fennemore Denver

I grew up with a collection of strong women who forged their own paths. Both my grandmothers were the first women in their families to go to college. One became a nurse, required in the 1940s to become a flight attendant, and travelled the world. The other became a teacher and taught others how to discover the world through education. My mother nurtured my curiosity and strength encouraging me to run faster, think harder, and reach higher than the limits I tried to set for myself.

I was uncertain about any career until junior year of college when I got an early morning call from my mother. My Aunt Marie Colvin, a prolific war correspondent, had been assassinated by the Syrian government while reporting on the conflict in Homs.

Practicing law allows me to give clients an avenue to justice – something far too many people, especially women, in the world do not have.

In commemorating my aunt, my grandmother said “be passionate and be involved in what you believe in, and do it as thoroughly and honestly and fearlessly as you can.” I keep these words close to remind myself that every woman has a contribution to make and by elevating our collective experiences we advance together.

Mallory P. Nordberg, Associate, Business Litigation, Fennemore Denver

My female mentors from law school and at Fennemore encourage me to pursue my career goals – I am inspired by the women who are dedicated to their careers and still able to build a family, enjoy hobbies outside of work, and support other women in the workplace.

What recent women’s achievements do you feel are celebratory?

Federal and state laws protecting women’s rights related to pregnancy and childbirth are celebratory for many reasons, including that we as a society are starting to appreciate and value the physical and mental challenges of pregnancy and postpartum.

The Taylor Swift / Beyonce / Barbie phenomenon also comes to mind, as a celebration of women in culture, music, and film. Instead of comparing or cutting down one female artist for another, our society (for the most part) elevated all three simultaneously. This is worth celebrating in a world where women are often compared and pitted against each other.

To learn more about Women’s History Month, click here.