Women & Business October 2016: Chatón Turner
Turner is Associate Counsel at UPMC, Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a blogger.
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Chatón’s World: A Working Mom’s Quest for Balance in Stilettos
“When I tell people that I worked right up until I had both of my children – literally hours before – they classify me as a Type A workaholic,” says Chatón Turner, associate counsel at UPMC, adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, mother of two young children and author of the blog Chatón’s World: A Working Mom’s Quest for Balance in Stilettos.
“The truth is, I was just being practical. I saved my vacation days so that I could extend my paid leave because my family needed that money. As a result, I waddled myself to work, even when tired, in order to make it work.”
Turner works with UPMC’s litigation avoidance strategy and Intermediation Program, which helps resolve patients’ concerns outside of the courtroom and identify process improvement opportunities for UPMC. As such, Turner has always been familiar with the struggles of being a woman in a male-dominated field.
“I am pretty sure none of my male colleagues have had to hear another lawyer say, ‘You have the best legs that I have ever seen at the courthouse,’” she says.
It was during her first pregnancy, though, that she became particularly passionate about issues related to gender equity and the challenges associated with being a full-time worker and mother in the U.S.
For instance, while Turner says she was fortunate to have a healthy pregnancy and six weeks of maternity leave, returning to work as a new mom was no easy feat.
“I was on 24-hour on-call the week I returned from maternity leave,” she says. “Managing being on-call and a breastfeeding schedule was a unique challenge that my male colleagues have never had to contemplate.”
She changed the purpose of her blog, Chatón’s World, to explore issues like these and help other women facing them.
“I have learned that there is a community of professional women like me who are trying to do it all and they need help,” she says. “I recognize that things change when passionate people speak truth to power…I hope my blog does that and helps to influence the policy changes in this country.”