Feature Stories

How Astellas Helps Me Bring My Whole Self Back Home

Oct 17, 2019

My mother was my first role model of a working mom: the household chief accountant, strategy officer and operations executive to my father, seven siblings and me. Even as she negotiated long days, a limited budget and competing personalities, she had a beautiful way of demonstrating to us that she was where she wanted to be, doing what she loved to do.

Because of moms like her and others, I had much more choice in sculpting my professional life as my husband and I grew our family. As a working mother of three children, including one who has special needs, I brought a tall order when I interviewed with Astellas three years ago:  it was important for me to work for an organization that recognized changing family dynamics and valued the perspectives of working mothers, while providing me the opportunities for professional growth. And as change is inevitable, the breadth of benefits was crucial. Three years into my employment here, even as my husband and I continue to support the needs of our family’s children, we are also increasingly preparing to take on full support for my aging parents-in-law (whose many hours of babysitting our family’s children made my professional success possible).  

Since joining Astellas in 2016, I have found a community that understands and values my role as a caregiver, while providing me meaningful opportunities for growth, promotion and development. As an Associate General Counsel, I feel blessed to be in a position to provide strategic and tactical legal advice to management and business clients at an organization with progressive programs and support for caregivers. As my family’s needs continue to evolve in the caregiving space – helping me support independence for both our son and our parents – I’m grateful that my family is not walking that path alone.

And while I encourage an Astellas culture where people can bring their whole selves to work, I feel I owe it to our family’s children to bring my full self home as well. I remain honest with my children about how much I enjoy being an attorney. I try to find ways to bring my kids along with me in my profession in a way that mirrors their own experiences – sharing with them my effort to develop trusting relationships, my failures at tasks even after trying my best. My profession is just another part of who I am to them and, in that, our shared experience -- one that Astellas has encouraged. 

In my short tenure, Astellas Legal management created and grew a dedicated Legal Department program to provide pro bono legal advice and community volunteerism. I am proud to serve as co-chair of the company’s Legal Community Advocacy, Representation and Service (CARES) initiative, through which employees from the Legal and Intellectual Property (IP) department around the world dedicate volunteer charitable services and provide free legal advice to the underserved in the communities where they live and work. This program has provided me the opportunity I was seeking to serve others in a way that reflects the spirit of my special needs son and has successfully sparked a whole new realm of discussions with my children about our individual responsibility in corporate citizenship. 

I still routinely stumble on some of the logistics of maneuvering family and profession. Nonetheless, I would like to believe that even in my imperfect effort to share a fuller experience with my children, one thing remains clear: I am where I want to be, doing what I love to do.