Welcome to Powerful Leaders, No Apologies.



Show Notes

Debbie Foster interviews Felice Duffy, founder of Duffy Law LLC, about her journey from fighting for gender equity in sports to leading her own law firm specializing in Title IX cases. Felice shares her inspiring story of breaking barriers, advocating for women’s rights, and navigating her career with resilience and integrity. 

Links from the episode:  

Check out Lisa Linsky’s Episode 

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Connect with Felice on LinkedIn   

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[2:45] Title IX

[19:00] Fighting for women in sports

[29:32] Compassion for yourself

  • Transcript


    Debbie Foster (00:03): 

    Welcome back to The Powerful Leaders No apologies, podcast, where we celebrate fierce, fabulous females making waves in the legal world. I’m Debbie Foster and I’m excited to introduce you to these women who are leading the charge with their bold leadership and influential journeys ready to be inspired by their powerful stories. Here’s the show. 



    Welcome back to another episode of Powerful Leaders, No apologies. I was able to convince a very cool guest to come on the show today. So I met Felice actually through Bill- Felice’s husband, Felice and Bill have become friends of mine. They first were clients and became friends, and last year at the end of the year, I was able to visit you guys in your beautiful home in Connecticut. And Felice has got such an interesting story and the kinds of clients that she helps has been something that has just been really cool for me to watch. But watching Felice as a leader and knowing her whole story got me super excited when she said yes, that she would be a guest. So Felice, welcome to the show. 


    Felice Duffy (01:13): 

    Thank you. It’s an honor to be here. 


    Debbie Foster (01:16): 

    I’m glad you’re here. I would love it if you would start off by telling us your story, what are you doing right now, and then really interesting kind of your journey to getting where you are right now. So let’s start with today. What’s going on today? 


    Felice Duffy (01:29): 

    So I am in charge of Duffy Law, LLC, which is my own firm that I started in about November, 2015, focusing on working primarily in the administrative disciplinary process at colleges and educational institutions across the country, sometimes outside of the country, representing students, staff, faculty under Title IX primarily, although there’s some conduct issues, discrimination, that kind of thing, but mostly under Title ix, which is gender equity with respect to mostly sexual assault and sexual harassment and some sports equity stuff. All of this has become a highly polarized national debate since 2012. And the Obama administration, the Trump administration, the Biden administration, it’s front and center now, but we work really in that area representing both complainants and respondents, which is a little unusual, both males and females and anyone along the gender continuum in these cases. So we are not really in court. We’re working in the schools with the school personnel. 


    Debbie Foster (02:35): 

    So interesting. And what made you pick that 


    Felice Duffy (02:40): 

    Short answer? A long answer? 


    Debbie Foster (02:43): 

    Yes. Yes. 


    Felice Duffy (02:45): 

    Okay. So a longer answer is I’ve always been involved in Title ix. Do you want the little historical story here? 


    Debbie Foster (02:52): 

    Yes. Because I remember reading this on your website and I was like, no freaking way. 


    Felice Duffy (02:59): 

    So how did it start? All right, so I was born back in the seventies. I’ll date myself here. I grew up in stores, Connecticut, nine brothers and sisters. We were our own little soccer team, and I had been a farmer basically, and wanted to be a vet, walked over to the University of Connecticut, which was a hundred yards from my high school, trying to find a vet school and missed and saw a soccer game in progress and literally went, I want to play soccer. And this was back in 77. So a couple of years after Title IX had been not only enacted, but schools were supposed to be complying with it, meaning they had to provide equity for men and women in sports and other things. And I found out that we were one of three, there was only three schools in the entire country, division, 1, 2, 3, anywhere that had women’s soccer. 



    So after two years of following their rules and regulations, which were pretty much designed to make sure we never had a team, I filed a complaint with the Department of Health Education and Welfare, which is the predecessor to the now current office for civil rights, federal claiming there was gender inequity. And long story short, with lots of very incredibly interesting stories about how everybody acted, we got a women’s varsity soccer team, did a couple extra years because I wanted to play, not the brightest way to do it. Flung some classes, took ’em again, got an A, and then during that time, our team was third in the country because it blossomed. At that point, college soccer grew and I just wanted to keep playing. I had found the place that what I loved doing, and I ended up staying at UConn, getting my master’s and doctorate there. 



    But also in 85 at the same time, after I’d finished all my classes waiting to get my dissertation done, I became the head coach at Yale for women’s soccer. I was one of three women applicants with 90 male applicants. And for 10 years I didn’t want to coach. I wanted to play, but it was the only way I could keep playing. There was no pro teams, there was no anything. Team. I had made the first US national team in 1983. It was on paper, we didn’t do anything, but I was playing all the time everywhere, working camps, doing anything I could to just play. And there just weren’t the opportunities for women that were for men. So I made my own teams, I made club teams, I went international, I did everything I could actually at Yale, they were not good, but by the time I left, I had not only become at one point the first or one of the first four head national strength and conditioning coach, strength coaches for varsity sports, and I was actually in charge of football. 



    Not all the male coaches wanted me doing that, but I did that while I was there as well. Did a lot of firsts, but was a Title IX advocate at Yale. I wasn’t afraid of losing my job, and I also don’t think I really thought they’d fire me, but obviously that was something they easily could have done. But I also represented a lot of the female coaches back then that were very terrified to come out and say what their sexual orientation was. So I did that because I could and I wanted to, and I told many, many times I should be a lawyer. 


    Debbie Foster (05:59): 

    So I’m curious, you’re 20, 21, 22, and you decide you’re going to file suit against the school that you’re going to get a women’s soccer team. 


    Felice Duffy (06:11): 

    Well, it wasn’t a suit, it was a complaint, but different. 


    Debbie Foster (06:13): 

    Okay. File a complaint. Okay. And how did you even figure out that you could do that? 


    Felice Duffy (06:19): 

    So I was actually 18. I went when I was 17, so it was my sophomore year, and my dad was a huge proponent of women’s equity. He was the president for the National Organization for Women in Connecticut at one point, but he also was faculty at UConn and a local dad who was very powerful politically, who had a friend who was a lawyer. Both their daughters wanted to play college soccer and they were at one of the other schools and they weren’t doing well, and they wanted ’em to come to UConn. So they basically carried me through this. They provided a legal service. I was the front and center, and they told me how to do it. We went to the president and they basically assisted me in figuring out what I needed to do and helped me do the paperwork. I did sit in the ad’s office, I’d say probably four days out of the week for a couple of years and kept notes, never went to class. This is a terrible story for if any students who was academics are important. I feel like I sanitized my record with my PhD, but costs a lot more. 


    Debbie Foster (07:15): 

    Wow. Yeah. So after you left Yale as a soccer coach, did you go right into practicing law? 


    Felice Duffy (07:21): 

    I left Yale because I hit the glass ceiling really hard because I’d always been able to navigate that and I’d always been able to fit into the male model, and I always was that kind of person and there was a bit of sexual harassment. It was something I could have fought and dealt with, but I chose not to because of the time and energy, and it was so inconsistent with my idea of who I was as a strong competent woman. And I did go to law school as a sort of last resort. I was actually rebounding a little bit from that, the whole impact of leaving coaching in a way that I didn’t necessarily want to. I resolved it. I used my learning skills and some other people and resolved it in a restorative justice way, which is very important to me ultimately. So I went to law school. Ultimately, I’d say a year or two, I had no money. I was getting paid horribly as a coach. I think I was getting paid $19,000 and I used my salary to pay for recruiting, but went to law school locally and didn’t really want to be a lawyer, but it was so consistent with being an athlete if you’re a trial lawyer. So I’d say 1999, I left a 95, 99. I had finished going to law school but had no necessary plans. 


    Debbie Foster (08:32): 

    So between then and when you started your firm, what did you do? 


    Felice Duffy (08:35): 

    I sort of want to tell you all the stories more informative than the actual facts, but I’ll stick to the facts. It’s hilarious. I might have to write a book just so I could not have to tell you. I left law school and I was very non-traditional the whole time. I was also 40 at that point, and I ended starting to work for a local firm, which I never really wanted to work for my firm. My mantra was, I’m going to work for a firm so I can see what it’s like to be my own lawyer and own my own firm, which I did until 2015. So I’m not sure how much of the defense that was, but I worked for a local firm, but got the opportunity to clerk for a federal judge through this incredibly fortuitous winding event and clerked for him for two years. 



    Stephan Underhill, he’s actually one of the leading jurists on Title IX right now in sports in the country, and I’ve had a recent case with him. It’s pretty amazing. But did that for two years and that changed the whole trajectory of my ability, I think, to be seen by others who think you have to do the traditional route. I went to Quinnipiac, which was just being certified. It was a new school. It was down at the bottom of the ratings. I wasn’t the Harvard, Yale, Princeton people that judges clerk for, but he is a wonderful person. I did that for two years and then made a decision I thought I’d never make. I went to work for the Sullivan and Cromwell, which is a big law firm, maybe one of the biggest and one of the most known law firms, which was to me very white shoe. 



    I was never wanted to work in New York, but it was right after nine 11, the year after, and I saw so much compassion in New York, and the response to that had actually attracted it to me to it. So I thought I’ll work there for a couple years. I had a couple people who worked there that said, this is the best place to be for a couple of years. You’re never going to be a partner, a woman. But that kind of reality worked there, did amazing stuff. Came back to Connecticut, worked at a small firm for about eight months, and then I was basically, I grew up in civil rights stores, Connecticut, so I kind of, I would say a self-declared progressive liberal and ended up being in the firm and not liking the sort of smaller cases. New York was fun talking about presidents in other countries, and it was the same cases, but it’s like toothpaste companies, who cares? 



    But I ended up, there was a job opening with the US Attorney’s Office as a federal prosecutor, assistant United States attorney, and I’d never thought I’d want to do that because that was really, it wasn’t necessarily opposed to my ideological philosophical structure, but it’s people put people in jail and applied. And I just happened to know everybody because I’d clerked for the right people and I got the job, which is a really tough job to get. It’s extraordinarily competitive. It’s usually pretty good, really good schools. And people were saying, ah, four or five times, then maybe you’ll get it. And I was like, okay, can’t hurt to apply. And I applied and nine days later they called me and were like, you want to join Team America? And I was like, I actually thought it was my brother Bill and it was the US attorney. I’m like, bill Whatcha doing? 



    He’s like, huh, not Bill. No, I did that for 10 years. It was an amazing job. Amazing. And did drugs and guns and organized crime in Bridgeport, Connecticut and very male dominated, like coaching. Everything I’ve done so far is very male dominated. I got along great with people and agents. It was fun investigating. I did that for 10 years, did Bridgeport then in New Haven. So I left in 2015 the day after I could retire after my some birthday. That was significant. So it was the Obama administration and I had become very, very, very involved through our office in the restorative justice, unconscious bias, all the Ferguson, post Ferguson race relations. I was doing all that for, I was doing my job a hundred percent and then another a hundred percent I was doing as the US attorney working with the feds and the states to work together to solve these problems. 



    The feds have more power and more resources and trying to solve all those issues and was really much very much in favor of not having people put in jail, particularly those that are marginalized anyway. And just realized that that was probably, I would say probably not the best place for me to pursue all that. And I think you asked me, decided to get to opening my own firm, what I learned about myself in that path and lots of therapy, that’s okay to say, right? Tremendous amount of therapy, but didn’t start till later on really, I’m an anti-establishment. I don’t like people to tell me what to do at all. And yet I was working for these huge institutions, working for Yale, I was working for the government, I was working for this, and I did it and I was respectful, but it just tore me up because I couldn’t stand it. 



    And I also had this adherence to this really high level, I’ll call it this, people might call it another thing of integrity. There were probably times I shouldn’t, I could have stepped down and still done the right thing. I think I was hard to deal with in that way because, and I’d always fight to the end and do what I was supposed to. So I really learned, I really can’t work for somebody else with Bill. Bill who is my husband, a consultant for lawyers. He was like, you’d be the perfect person to open a law firm. And so why did I do Title IX for the last three years in the attorney’s office? I’d worked with the Obama and Biden administration doing the Title IX sexual harassment with Bill my husband’s help. We were like, this is not only have I been doing it this whole time, but focus on this perfect segue. And it was really the beginning, 2012 was the beginning of when colleges and the requirements were changing drastically. And so I opened my own firm focusing on, I did a little federal criminal work for a while, but I really couldn’t stand losing. That’s another little personal piece. And I mean losing in not doing the right thing for the client, but feds have all the evidence, and so I just would fight against the wall and probably not need to do it. So I just have been focusing really on just the Title IX stuff. 


    Debbie Foster (14:16): 

    And I know from working with you and Bill, who your husband is awesome, super smart, talented, I love Bill watching the two of you, and he’s been involved in your firm watching the two of you figure out how to help the most number of people. And I have also watched you give back and literally change people’s lives. They might not have even known necessarily who you were, but really fight some big battles along the way, not knowing whether you were going to get paid for it or not get paid for it. And you’ve just said, this is the right thing to do and I’m going to invest my time and resources and I’m going to do it. And you probably don’t even get the kinds of pats on the back that you should get for really paving the way for so many people and the work that you did, whether that be back in college saying there should be a women’s soccer team has changed the lives of so many people. 



    I mean, you’ll never even know all of the people that you impact. So I want to just share one quick thing, but while I’m sharing that, I want you to think about maybe a couple of examples that you can talk about where you have continued to fight the good fight and pave the way for people to be able to do the things that they should already have been able to do. But everything that you’ve talked about has reminded me. I’ll have Chelsea put a link to this episode in the show notes, but I had Lisa Linsky on my podcast, and I don’t know if you know Lisa, but she is a lawyer at McDermott, also another huge, huge, huge firm. Thousands of employees, I don’t know, a couple thousand lawyers. And she tells the story about how I won’t get it exactly right, but the managing partner at the time, 20 something years ago, came into her office and said, Hey, you’re the only gay person I know. 



    Start an L-G-B-T-Q thing. Well, back then it probably wasn’t. It was just like maybe LGBT start awareness. And by the way, there’s no budget but figure out how to do something like that. And she was the only out gay person that she knew at the firm, and it’s such an amazing episode for her to tell that story about 20 something years ago when that was not what law firms were doing. And she was like, okay, I’ll do it. Eventually she got some budget money and was able to still, she speaks about it often and she really paved the way other large firms have come to her and said, how do we do better here? So I love this idea of the trailblazers, and I feel like you’ve really done that too in a little bit of a different way, but in a really impactful way. So what else are you doing over there? What else have you done over there? Maybe some stories of battles that you fought that you were like, I don’t know. Well, I’m going to do it anyway. 


    Felice Duffy (17:05): 

    Yeah, I’m going to focus on my own firm. I fought lots of battles all along the way. So first of all, in honor of Bill’s, being able to advise me like he does other lawyers who are really usually good at the practice of law, but not so great at the practice of business. And I was running the firm with Bill’s help. Sometimes I’d accept it. Well, that’s another story. But anyway, I love him too. Deb, just for the record. 


    Debbie Foster (17:29): 

    Yes, I know you do. 


    Felice Duffy (17:31): 

    But I did get paid because one of the things Bill taught me, which I think is something that I teach other women through my work, is that whole, you’re worth something. You have to value yourself. There’s all the empirical research that shows women don’t ask for salaries, men do. I mean, all that traditional stuff, it’s still very operative. I mean, I don’t see a tremendous amount has changed, but not a lot’s changed. The stats are better, there’s awareness is better. But in the environment that I’ve been in, there’s still, I would say, I can’t think of a place I’ve worked. This could be terrible if there is such a place. But where women aren’t treated as second class citizens, even with people that are aware and wonderful and my friends because it’s unconscious, because it’s just the way our world has operated. And I’ve learned to pick my battles now where before I fought everything, which was exhausting. 



    And that’s another thing I think I’ve made an impact on through my own growth, sometimes very painful. But women really need to focus on themselves. The cultural stereotype is to fix everybody, take care of everybody, do all that. And that’s often what I say to my female clients because they say, well, I’ll stay at the school and I’ll do this. It’ll be terrible for me, but I’ll fix everyone. I’ll be like, you’ve got to take care of yourself. And I really work with them through this because I’m not in court. So my whole point is to guide them through the best decision for them while advocating, understanding what they want. And so I really do think it’s very, very important to take care of yourself in this way. So there are some things I don’t want to totally tell you. I get paid for everything. 



    I mean, as the owner, I get to decide when to write things off. The cases I do take on contingency or for free, and I’ve taken a lot, but primarily I’ve learned to take money upfront. Bill’s a great mentor. I’ve done that. I’ve learned to do it. And it’s amazing because I wouldn’t have started out that way. And I think it is a cultural stereotype. It’s actually really easy. It’s one of the parts I like a lot because I can talk very professionally and very well, but very honestly and authentically with clients about money. But the ones are the sports cases where it was really disheartening after doing everything we did back in the seventies and eighties to move women’s athletics along. It felt like there was probably three decades maybe where women weren’t fighting for their own rights. They were like, yeah, it’s good enough. 



    And it was sad. We were like, there’s no voices. And there is a group of people I hang out with that are my age or older that just keep doing all the work. And it really was post pandemic that I felt this. And it was post Black Lives Matter where I call up the new me too movement within sports. And that’s when women for the first time, young women started actually following up. And I did two or three cases. One of them was the Yukon case where they cut the women’s team. This is the only story, unless you want more. They cut the women. No, I love, okay, the women’s rowing team. And I could only take these cases one time at a year because it was my, I do it after hours and I still had to run the firm and pay everybody and do all those other cases with paid. And they cut the Women’s rowing team literally on the 48th anniversary of Title ix. 


    Debbie Foster (20:26): 

    And this was just like a few years ago. This was not 30 years ago. 


    Felice Duffy (20:31): 

    Pandemic. Yes, 2020. So take this time where the nation’s afraid people are afraid. The educational horror, Connecticut too, particularly in my opinion, was one of the epicenters of the pandemic. I mean New Haven, the Northeast was very much by New York where there were people literally dying everywhere and there was just tremendous fear and panic. So the school took the opportunity, they cut three men’s sports and three women’s sports, but it had always been skewed and not equal. And schools don’t understand this. And I love UConn. I’m an alum. I go back, I talk my team’s there, but I also sued Quinnipiac at one point. That’s where I went to law school, but I still get along with everyone. So we had to show, because a lot of schools manipulate data. It’s a very complicated, it’s a math formula, but it’s complicated how you can manipulate data and pretend women are getting better opportunities. 



    But we worked with the kids on that team over the summer, the rowers, because they literally, so it’s pandemic. They couldn’t transfer, they couldn’t really go to school, they weren’t even practicing. So you’re taking these kids whose lives it is to row that. Unless you’ve been an athlete, you don’t understand what that means. They do tend to understand it for men but not women. And they were taking these kids that were thrown in this horrible pandemic, locked in their rooms and saying, oh, and we’re taking the team away. Good luck. It was awful. I don’t think it was their intention. They said it was about money, which is in a defense to Title ix. But throughout that, and this is how I think I practice law, which is different sometimes a little more of counsel, a little more, the counselor, a little less, the zealous advocate that lawyers are trained to be really worked with all of them to pick, I think 12 people. 



    12 people decided well should be younger ones like 18 year olds to follow through on a lawsuit. And I was doing on contingency, meaning I would get paid if we won and if the other side paid what they’re supposed to do in civil rights cases, long way off. I love doing it. I got to work with my mentor, Donna Lopiano, who’s the leading expert in Title ix. She’s amazing. She’s not a lawyer, but she’s done everything. She’s been a wonderful, powerful role model. She was my expert. I worked with another brilliant lawyer and just got all these people that were my role models. I was the workaholic. I’m like, I’ll do it. I had to learn about rowing. I didn’t know anything. I mean, I was calling rowing games, just you got to learn everything and the numbers looked good for you. But we spent a year in a pandemic, which was really difficult, reaching people, finding people, communicating people. 



    But I loved that part. I loved talking to coaches. I loved learning about that and working with these kids. And we filed what’s called a temporary restraining order in May 28th, 2021, two days before they were literally, they let the team stay one more year, but they went pandemic before we couldn’t file it anymore. It was incredibly difficult. And it went to my judge, judge Underhill in Connecticut, which was great. And he is the leading jurist on it. And we ended up winning that meaning they were forced as an emergency federal measure within a few weeks to put the rowing team back in until the case was decided, because proven all the elements you have to prove to show that they were likely to lose. So what was amazing to me, Deborah, so we’re on Zoom this whole time. I’m prepping people. I’m talking to ’em, I’m talking to the coaches, I’m talking to witnesses. 



    I’m doing all this stuff, getting ready. It’s like a game. And then you show up and you never know what’s going to happen. We show up as a first day. They allowed people in court during the pandemic and everybody’s in N 90 fives, and I couldn’t breathe. And I spit when I talk and I talk a lot and I use my hands and it’s crazy. I was like, your honor, possible I could take my mask off. And I was hyper cautious. I never went out of my house, but I was like, I can’t even hear myself. And he’s like, yeah, I think I’m going to let the judge and the clerks and the lawyers take their masks off. No one wanted to wear ’em. And it was all videotaped by Zoom. So all these people wrote back at room said, I never understood how important this was to these kids because three 18 year olds, I’m not sure they were all 18, but three young kids testified in federal court about their experience. And I got to ask them the questions. It was so fun to live through them. The coach testified, all these people testified, and then we got to cross the other side. But because it was done within a few days, there was no prep. It was like you just got to get up and ask questions. And I’m pulling statutes out. I mean, to me, that’s the fun part. But these kids I’d seen on Zoom the whole time. So I don’t know if you know anything about rowing. 


    Debbie Foster (24:49): 

    I don’t know much about rowing at all. 


    Felice Duffy (24:52): 

    They’re pretty tall. I mean, that’s the point. I’m saying six feet, seven feet. So I’m five two, and I’d never seen him. And they just kind of all looked down at me and they walked by and patted my head as they walked up to the, I was just like, this is just such a different world. But then afterwards, and this is what I loved the most about my job, they got to be heard. It didn’t matter what the outcome was, we stood outside. We all forgot to put our masks on, which we ended up being like, oops. Just broke some rules in a circle with everybody. And I just like, I can’t tell you what an honor is to represent you, to have you guys have the strength and courage to talk on behalf of all the women. And they were just like, this was amazing. 



    And you could see, literally see the growth and you could see the future leaders. And I was so inspired. There are women that will do this, and it was really pretty amazing. And then we did win and we actually did settle. We didn’t have to go to trial. And they now have a new rowing house. They have stability, they have scholarships, they’re putting, it’s not done yet. And they also made University of Connecticut, or they agreed to for five years, monitor all sports and bring them all into Title IX compliance with two monitors they’re paying for. So they made a huge difference. Then Yukon’s, one of the most best known UConn, wins basketball for gender equity, a place to go to be a good female athlete. And they are pretty good, but they’re not good enough. And it was an amazing story, really kind of cool 


    Debbie Foster (26:17): 

    And an impactful story beyond for at Thanksgiving dinner and holiday dinners. And people will be telling that story forever. For a hundred years, that story is going to be told around a table. And to be a part of something like that, I can’t even imagine how super cool is that. 


    Felice Duffy (26:41): 

    And I won’t say too much more, but they named a boat nine, and they asked me to come and christen it with the team. 


    Debbie Foster (26:47): 

    Did you get to bust a thing of champagne over it? Yeah, yeah. 


    Felice Duffy (26:50): 

    Well, I couldn’t break it, but I just poured it. But I’ve been out with them. I’ve been on the boat with them. I’ve remained friends with their coach. I was up there last spring and one of the kids came up and they met my mother and they’re like, you represented us. And they were just these beautiful ambassadors for good people. And I was asked to speak at their rowing Bela this year, the president of Yukon. And I, I was in the process of moving, so I, it was really sad that I couldn’t do it because it would’ve been such good closure, but it was pretty amazing. The one thing that I also is important to me is to connect women, not just women, but to whatever their village is. Because people are isolated, particularly women, they tend to be isolated and think it’s just them and introduce ’em to other people like themselves. 



    And during this building of this whole case, we actually, I reached because I had worked at Yale, I didn’t know these people, but I just would call people because that’s what I do. I don’t know if you’re aware of the Yale rowing crew. I think it was in the sixties where they were in the New York Times. They are very good in crew. And the women with all the Olympic rowers eventually didn’t get showers, and they would get really sick, and the men got showers and they took their shirts off in front of the athletic director with Title IX written. This is in the paper. This is a huge story. Everyone knows about it. There’s a documentary about it. And these women were in the sixties and they got their showers. And there’s just a big story about that. Two of those women came onto the Zoom with the Yukon women, one who was, I’m going to say this wrong, but close enough, I think who was at one point, or still may be the head of the Mayo Clinic, this wonderful rower because sports technically affects you in employment. 



    And the other was a history teacher that I think taught and coach maybe at West Point, and they both came on along with Donna and all these other people. And from all over to talk to these kids with the alums was about, I think there was a hundred people on this zoom to say, we got you. And say, we’ll help you. And we’re here. And it connected from the sixties to 2020, this group of women. Then they’ll always be able to rely on each other and see that strength. That’s one of the things I think is the problem with our culture, is it isolates women and it’s pretty amazing. It’s really very cool. 


    Debbie Foster (28:55): 

    Wow. I mean, I feel like I could talk to you for a month because those are some really cool, impactful stories. But I’m going to fast forward to the last question that I always ask everyone, which is tell me about your leadership superpower. And as I’ve listened to you talk, I mean, I feel like I know you pretty well. We work together a lot, and I didn’t know some of the things that you talked about today, but I have 10 leadership superpowers running through my head for you right now. So now I want to know when you pick your leadership superpower, what is it and does it match up with one of the ones I have in my head? 


    Felice Duffy (29:32): 

    I would like to hear your 10, so I can pick one, but I can tell you what is coming to me. And I did think about it, but it’s really after conversation today. There’s so many that feed into this. But I would say compassion, not for others, but for myself, because women are so hard on themselves, and I had to work really a lot to do what I did and make mistakes and recover from them. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and it was really hard. But that compassion for others too, as a business leader and also as a lawyer, and I feel it, and I mean, and it’s authentic and I think clients know that with good boundaries also that part of it. But I do think that has made me really enjoy what I do, because I think with the exception of maybe one kid, I liked every one of my clients and I’ve had people on every side of every issue. Because if you’re compassionate and this goes to the national dialogue about everything, you can have an amazing impact on somebody vice and vice versa. So I don’t know, that doesn’t sound so strong, but that’s what comes to mind. 


    Debbie Foster (30:39): 

    No, it sounds super strong. The one that was at the front of my mind was advocacy. You inspire people to advocate for themselves and give them, empower them, give them what they need, whether it’s the information they need or the encouragement they need or the confidence that they need to advocate for themselves. And that is really powerful. I had an internal conversation today about how do I help someone with their confidence level? I think that that is such an important quality of a leader, to be able to advocate for someone and help them advocate for themselves, give them the confidence, talk them up, build them up. And I feel like just even the stories that you’ve told today, there’s a lot of that. But even in just something that isn’t as big as the Yukon Rowing team, you found a way to do that for all of those people that you chose to help. 


    Felice Duffy (31:38): 

    Well, thank you. And I love doing that. That’s like the coach in me. It really is. And as you know, Deb or Debbie, I know you know that it’s exhausting to do that. It’s so much easier to do it for someone else, but that’s what, right. I just do it sometimes you alright. But that is what I love to do. That’s the coach, the teacher. That is hard work. And that is what results in culture change. And that is kind of the whole point I think I’ve done everything, is to always try to change the culture somehow. 


    Debbie Foster (32:09): 

    Well, thank you for being on the show. I feel inspired to go figure out somebody that I can help, do something that they should be able to do, want to do. I feel really inspired and I appreciate you being here, 


    Felice Duffy (32:23): 

    And I thank you very much. And like I said, it really is an honor and I love our conversation always. 


    Debbie Foster (32:31): 

    And that’s a wrap. Are you feeling inspired? Take that energy and go make a difference today. And don’t forget to subscribe to keep up with our latest episodes and if today’s show really resonated with you, share this episode with your friends and colleagues. You’ll also find some resources and ways to connect in the show notes. So until our next episode, get out there and change the world.