Name: Martha Fay Africa
Employer: Major, Lindsey & Africa (world's largest legal search firm)
Title: Co-Founder & Managing Director
Location: San Francisco, CA
Why did you start women rainmakers?
I was frustrated hearing talented women lawyers say they couldn't
make rain without role models. Most felt they could not learn from
men. So I decided to find successful women role models, and start
an educational group to help train rainmakers.
Advice to young women lawyers:
Don't be afraid of rainmaking - it's a learnable art.
Recommended first steps?
Show more interest in others than you show in yourself. Believe
in your ability to succeed. Why should someone else succeed and
Look for the vacuum, the under-served, what isn't getting done
by others and go claim it as your own.
Attach yourself to a rainmaker you respect.
Most important rainmaking advice?
You won't get business unless you ask for it!
Any changes since you started women rainmakers
Women can have a seat at the table now - the question is still whether
they choose to take it.
Best advice you ever got:
From Frank Press, my mentor, former two-term President of National
Academy of Sciences and my boss at MIT: "You can help someone else
make money or you can help me make history" - and I've been a sucker
for making history ever since.
What would you like your legacy to be?
That women lawyers associated with Women Rainmakers pass on that
learning to others.
Do unto others, but make sure you retain the competitive edge.
Best way to keep a competitive advantage?
Reading business publications like the Wall Street Journal for insights
on what business trends mean to your clients. That's how you add
Yardstick of success:
Wanting to go to work everyday and loving being there.
Proundest professional accomplishments?
(1) Founding Women Rainmakers and
(2) being the first law school placement director in the country
to charge employers for the privilege of interviewing law students.
Characteristics of happiest, most satisfied
Believing in themselves and believing they are making a difference.
Words that describe you:
Listening to jazz, entertaining, buying and renovating properties.
Any other advice?
Don't hold yourself back or let anyone else hold you back: "I
will not be less so that you can be more." Take chances, take
risks to succeed, and if you let yourself, you will have a great time
on your path to success!