International Women's Day 2021

Feature 3: Colleen Cochran, JD, Becki Bowers, M.Ed., and Sarah Lee

March 11, 2021

Many members of our trial consulting and expert witness teams at IMS are not visible on the front lines of the war room or the courtroom, but they play a major role in ensuring our clients’ success. In Feature 3 of our International Women's Day series, you will meet Colleen Cochran, Becki Bowers, and Sarah Lee. These three professionals perfectly represent our motto #togetherwewin.

Colleen Cochran, JD

Editor

Q: Why did you choose a career in the legal services industry?

A: I wasn’t aware of the legal services field early on in my career. I was a writer and editor for newspapers and magazines for over twenty years, and I noticed that some of the most successful writers were those who specialized in a particular subject matter. So at 40, which coincidentally was the same year I had my first child, I entered law school, with the hopes that I could specialize in writing about legal topics. My sister, who is an attorney, introduced me to the legal services field.

Q: What are some challenges you experienced as a woman in your field?

A: It’s tricky for women to balance career and family responsibilities. But we’re tough, and we’re darn good at handling both. The pandemic has been an especially tricky time for all of us, women and men, because we’ve had to intermix work life and home life, and many of us have kids at home. The fact that we have successfully maintained both facets of our lives is a testament to our adaptability and dedication.

Q: Of the many women throughout history who broke down gender stereotypes who do you admire most and why?

A: Everyone has some amazing female ancestors that came before them, and International Women’s Day is the perfect occasion to celebrate and honor them. Our female forebears had fewer opportunities and freedoms than do women today, and it is because they weathered those challenges to successfully that we, their ancestors, have flourished. One of the women I admire in my own family history is my great+ grandmother who came to America in the early 1700s. Her husband died on the sea journey, which left her having to fend for herself and her eight kids in a new land. Somehow, she ensured each one of them not only survived but went on to thrive.

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Becki Bowers, M.Ed.

Administrative Office Manager

Q: Why did you choose a career in the legal services industry?

A: Administrative work comes very easily for me and it allows me to be involved with a variety of projects and people throughout the company. I remember playing office as a child—scheduling meetings and filling out forms for my dolls. I like things to be organized and clearly communicated and I like finding solutions to problems. I also am dependable and enjoy helping others, so a career as an administrative professional is a natural fit for me.

Q: What are some challenges you experienced as a woman in your field?

A: Administrative professionals and women generally are expected to take on a lot of responsibilities. I have found that it is best to wait a bit before taking immediate action on projects. My time can be valuable, so by pausing for a bit to determine priorities and by obtaining clarity by asking questions, I save myself valuable time. Unfortunately, administrative professionals are not always asked their opinions on different matters, despite the fact that we know so much about what is going on within the office and the professional teams. I have learned to share my insights, even when I have not been directly asked a question.

Q: What advice would you give to women who are working or interested in working in your field?

A: Being an administrative professional can be the right position for you if you enjoy variety in your work-day tasks, are a quick learner, don’t easily get flustered, and want the ability to interact with a wide group of people within a company. Depending on where you work, you may have the opportunity to also be involved in the HR, accounting, sales, marketing, facilities, training, or employee engagement departments, so it is a great field if you are seeking exposure to many professional arenas.

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Sarah Lee

Revenue Operations Coordinator

Q: Why did you choose a career in the legal services industry?

A: Working for IMS was an opportunity that fell into my lap during college. I was looking for an internship and got in touch with two IMS executives through a mentorship program at University of West Florida. Being willing to put myself out there, networking within the mentorship program, and participating in an internship with IMS opened doors to professional experiences that I never thought would be possible for me.

Q: As a woman in the legal services industry, what are some experiences you’ve had on the job that made you feel empowered?

A: Over the last year, in which we’ve been working from home, I’m seeing a number of female colleagues juggling childcare, their practices, family life, and taking care of a home, and it has really put into perspective how Superwoman-esque women have the potential to be. COVID-19 is a challenge that women have met head on and is one that gives women greater opportunity to show their strengths and resilience.

Q: Of the many women throughout history who broke down gender stereotypes who do you admire most and why?

A: I greatly admire Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, who, as "straight-talkers," were often called "bossy," a term I've also heard used to describe me. The two quotes below call into question that little nagging voice that is at the back of many women’s minds, the one that tells them to be more agreeable, pleasant, and quiet in order to be "likeable." "Why make yourself small when you were destined for such big things?" Said Barra (Refinery29, Feb. 2015), "Most of all, never waver on integrity. If someone calls you bossy because you didn’t let them push you around, so be it.” Said Albright (Time, Sep. 2017), “I have often been the only woman in the room and I thought to myself, ‘Well, I don’t think I’ll say anything today because it’ll sound stupid,’ and then some man says it and everyone thinks it’s brilliant and you think, ‘Why didn’t I talk?’ If we are in a meeting, we’re there for a reason. The bottom line is, if you’re only there not speaking, you kind of create the impression that you’re not prepared to be there."

IMS Consulting & Expert Services

IMS Consulting & Expert Services delivers consultative trial and expert services for the most influential global firms. For nearly thirty years, the company has been dedicated to helping clients tell clear and persuasive stories that educate jurors and decision-makers. Through more than 20,000 cases and well over 1,000 trials, attorneys have trusted IMS to equip them with the perspective and tools they need to help their clients succeed. With offices in New York, Dallas, Oakland, and Pensacola, the company provides persuasion strategy, expert witness, jury consulting, trial graphics, and trial presentation services. IMS has been recognized as an industry leader by several notable publications, receiving nine consecutive rankings on the Inc. 5000 list, standing in ten categories of The National Law Journal’s “Best Of 2021” awards, and positioning in the National Law Review’s prestigious “Go-To Thought Leader” awards for three consecutive years. More at expertservices.com.