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Women's History Month

Profiles in Leadership

Ellen Crane

Ellen Crane

General Counsel

1. What is your name and profession?

Ellen Crane, General Counsel

2. What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

History has many dimensions and perspectives.  I appreciate that we can set aside time to learn more about women in history as well as their roles in and perspectives of historical events.  Understanding history helps me gain a deeper understanding of current circumstances and gratitude for opportunities available to me now and to future generations.

3. As a woman, in what ways have you struggled to get to where you are today and how did you overcome those struggles?

I grew up with the philosophy that if I work hard and do a good job, there is no reason for me not to be included; whether it was playing soccer on the playground as a young girl, through my education and as I began my legal career.  As a young lawyer, I looked to my male role models as examples of how to build my legal skills and client base; yet I struggled as I realized that as a woman, there were times that I was either not included in these activities and/or I really did not enjoy them.  As I grew professionally, I realized that I could bring more to the table and achieve success by being myself and pursuing networking and development within my areas of strength and interest.

4. What advice do you have for young women who are aspiring to follow their dreams?

First of all, stay positive and optimistic; tune out the complainers.  You will miss opportunities if you dwell in negativity.  Stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone as you pursue your dreams, as that is where you will find growth and develop yourself for the next level.  Finally, advocate for yourself with confidence, including when you face adversity, remembering all you have learned from every life experience.

5. As a woman in your position, how have you fought for equity in the workplace and for other women?

As a management side labor and employment attorney, I purposefully learned about workplace best practices, so that my advice included both the legal obligations and, more importantly, how to create a welcoming, fair and inclusive environment where every employee can be successful.

6. Who was your role model and how did they change your life?

My mom, Janet Crane, is my role model, hero and inspiration.  She set high expectations for achievement and taught me the values of hard work and personal integrity.  She modeled the importance of community service, acceptance of all people and forgiveness as the path to happiness.  As I grew up, I have learned more about her achievements and the life challenges that she overcame, which has deepened my appreciation of her humility and self-sacrifice for the betterment of others.  She is the wisest, most generous person I know.

7. What is your hope for the next generation of women and girls?

I hope that future generations of women and girls will enjoy limitless opportunities to pursue their dreams.