How will you adapt? asks Google's Gail Su


Gail Su

How will you adapt? asks Google's Gail Su

After repeatedly being told that she ‘did not look like’ an engineer, Gail Su of Google hails the launch of a new diversity and inclusion platform for IP professionals

Even after almost 15 years, I can still remember the buzz of adrenaline flowing through me as I waited for my first in-person interview with a partner at a large international law firm. The door opened, right on time. The partner looked at me, tilted his head, and said, “You aren’t what I expected.” 

On paper, I am an engineer and a patent attorney with over 10 years of experience. However, for the average person I meet, the fact that my background is in engineering or that I am an attorney is surprising. In their minds, I should look like James Stewart from “Anatomy of a Murder”, rather than a small Asian woman. 

I have lost track of the number of times that someone has told me, “you don’t look like an engineer”, or “are you really an attorney?” let alone a competent one. When I share these sentiments with the people around me, they nod in understanding because that’s how ingrained the stereotype of a successful attorney is in society. 

Diversity, ADAPT, Google, diversity and inclusion, Gail Su