In recognition of the LGBTQIA+ community and Pride Month, Zausmer is highlighting associate Heather Thatcher who shared her experiences and thoughts on inclusivity.
“You will be accepted. Be your authentic self. You will be happier and more professionally fulfilled if you’re true to yourself,” Heather said. “Diversity is a beautiful thing. The world is full of so many different people, cultures, and traditions. When we work together from a position of mutual respect, we create a pretty amazing tapestry.”
Heather also shared her thoughts on how the legal field can be more inclusive. “For so many areas of life, growth begins with education. Learning about people who are different than you always broadens a person’s perspective and helps to build relationships,” Heather said. “Like anyone else, a person who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community wants to feel safe, valued, and respected. Having a support system and safe place is crucial.”
“When I first began practicing as an attorney, I was hesitant to be open about the fact that I’m married to a woman out of concern that I would be perceived negatively or passed over for opportunities,” Heather said. “When I did choose to share that fact, I did so with hesitation, inwardly cringing at the reaction I might receive. Most of the time, though, if there was any reaction at all, it was one of temporary surprise and then quick acceptance.”
“As time has passed, I’ve become less concerned about the reactions of others and am more matter-of-fact about it,” Heather said. “My family is just like any other family. We love each other, and we’re a family. It’s as simple as that.”
Zausmer appreciates and values the many talents and perspectives that each individual brings to the firm and recognizes that our ability to attract and retain attorneys and staff members with diverse backgrounds is fundamental to our success. A well-balanced workplace and diverse culture not only enriches the quality of life for our employees, but also enhances the excellent service we provide to our clients.