She approaches leadership, change and inclusion strategically and produces measurable results towards her clients’ goals and objectives. She assists her clients, their internal teams and their employee resource groups in implementing their strategic plans. Her clients partner with her to provide professional and leadership development content to support the organizations’ efforts to enhance their leverage for both their change efforts and their investments in talent. Her clients include professional service firms, public and private companies and family offices.
Ms. Pigott also has a robust executive coaching practice. She partners with her clients to invest in their high potential professionals: the existing and future leaders of the organization. She is an external resource, sounding board and accountability tool for individuals employed by her clients in connection with their creation, implementation and measurement of an action plan to achieve career and leadership goals.
From 1993 until 2002, Ms. Pigott served as the Chair of the global Environmental Law practice group at Winston & Strawn, one of the largest global law firms. Prior to that, Ms. Pigott was Chair of the Environmental Law Department at the firm now known as Katten Muchin Rosenman. In those capacities, she provided creative solutions to expensive technical issues in a highly regulated arena having created successful strategies to obtain mission-critical permits and licenses through identifying and quantifying litigation and regulatory risks. At Winston, she served as the Relationship Manager for the firm’s third largest client at the time. In that role, she developed and implemented innovative strategic partnering that resulted in win-win financial solutions, thus becoming a role model for other firm/client relationships, and improving the client-service model on a firm-wide basis. She was a regular participant in major client acquisition teams. Prior to being a partner at these large global law firms, she was employed by MidCon Corp., the natural gas transmission subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum. There she partnered with business teams to create and implement strategies for managing material litigation and business growth.
At Winston & Strawn, Ms. Pigott served on the firm’s Executive Committee (the first woman to do so) and its Compensation Committee, both responsible for managing the firm’s employees across the globe and establishing the compensation for all of the firm’s attorneys. While at Winston, Ms. Pigott created and chaired the firm’s Diversity Initiative, rendering the firm a leader among its peers and materially improving recruitment, retention and promotion of attorneys. Under Ms. Pigott’s leadership, the firm won three of the coveted Sager Awards for its Diversity Programs from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. In addition, a number of outside organizations at the time positively recognized Winston’s diversity efforts. For example, in the Chicago Lawyer and Minority Law Journal diversity surveys, Winston ranked in the top decile. Ms. Pigott was instrumental in helping Winston to be recognized in the June 2001 issue of Diversity & the Bar as one of five firms profiled in connection with best diversity practices, and in Vault’s 2001 “Guide to America’s Top 100 Law Firms” where Winston ranked second nationally in the “Best 20 Firms to Work For” category and was listed as No. 1 in the retention and office categories.
Ms. Pigott serves as an independent trustee and Chair of the Board of the Van Eck mutual funds, a multifaceted hard asset family of funds: Van Eck Funds, Van Eck Worldwide Insurance Trust and Van Eck Funds, Inc.
In addition, Ms. Pigott is an active leader in civic organizations. She is a Trustee of Northwestern University and sits on its Investments and Medicine Committees. She serves on the Northwestern Medicine Group Board of Directors, the Northwestern Memorial HealthCare Physician Compensation Subcommittee, and the Finance Committee of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. She is a board member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, serves on its Executive Committee and chairs its IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) Steering Committee. She currently serves as a Life Trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, sits on its Executive Committee, and serves on its Nominating & Governance Committee. She is a board member of the Ryan Opera Center, OPERA America and Cedille Records.
Ms. Pigott is an active speaker and author on leadership, management, diversity and substantive legal and policy topics. She has spoken and presented papers at a wide variety of venues, including twice before the United Nations in conferences held in Paris, France. Her speaking engagements include:
- participation on a Pay Equity Panel for the 7th Circuit Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Seminar in September 2019
- workshops entitled “Creating Positive Visibility,” “Effectively Communicating Across Differences,” “Effective Delegation and Team Construction” and “Creating and Maintaining Effective Mentor and Sponsor Relationships” for the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Labor & Employment Law (“LEL”) Section Leadership Development Program in July 2019
- keynote speaker at Chicago Bar Association (“CBA”) Women’s History Month Luncheon: Celebrating the Progress of Women Lawyers in March 2019
- participation on a panel entitled “Practical Tools for Business Development: What You Can Do and Tips From the Top!” for Women in Law Empowerment Forum (“WILEF”) in November 2016
- workshops entitled “Creating Positive Visibility: The Art of Profile Building” and “Creating and Maintaining Effective Mentor and Sponsor Relationships” for the ABA LEL Section Leadership Development Program in September 2016
- participation in a CBA program entitled “How to Effectively Communicate with Clients and Outside the Workplace”
- a workshop entitled “Effectively Communicating Across Generations” for Career Transitions Center in July and November 2015
- participation on a panel entitled “Learning to Lead: Facing Today’s Challenges in the Legal Profession” for the ABA Commission on Women in October 2015
- a workshop entitled “Managing Across Generations From Telegraph to Texting” at the Women Presidents’ Organization (“WPO”) Chicago Summit in September 2015
- a facilitated discussion entitled “Think Tank Live: The Credibility Challenge – Earning Trust From a Tough Crowd” for Legal Marketing Association in May 2015
- a program entitled “Communicating Across Generations” for Sudler Property Management in October 2014
- a program entitled “Communicating Across Generations” for Institute of Real Estate Management (“IREM”) Chicago Chapter in September 2014
- participation on panels entitled “Diverse Attorneys, Women and Millennials: Successful Paths to Leadership” and “What You Need to Know About Negotiating Compensation” for the ABA Business Law Section in September 2014
- a program entitled “Mentoring Across Gender and Generation” for the Public Interest Law Initiative (“PILI”) in May 2014
- a program entitled “Get What You Want: Success Strategies” for U.S. Law Firm Group (“USLFG”) Women Lawyers Committee meeting in April 2014
- participation on a panel entitled “The Strategy of Diversity Recruiting” for Practising Law Institute (“PLI”) Diversity and Inclusion in Law Practice program in February 2014
- a program entitled “Moving On Up: Training Women to be Future Law Firm Leaders” for the National Association for Law Placement (“NALP”) Professional Development Institute in December 2013
- a program entitled “Get What You Want: Success Strategies” for Recruiting Administrators of Dallas in October 2013
- a program entitled “Growing Your Practice: A Workshop on Business Development” for the Grand Rapids Bar Association Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative in September 2013
- a program entitled “Getting in the Door, Sales and Closing” for Lex Mundi Accelerated Business Generation Workshop for Women Lawyers in September 2013
- a program entitled “How to Convince Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers to Make You Their Partner” for DRI’s Young Lawyers Seminar in June 2013
- a program entitled “Building Better Women’s Initiatives” for the NALP Annual Convention in April 2013
- programs entitled “Reaching Critical Mass: How Women Can Build Coalitions of Support” and “Negotiating Compensation” for the National Association of Women Lawyers (“NAWL”) Mid-Year Meeting in February 2013
- programs entitled “Creating Positive Visibility,” “Effective Delegation and Team Roles,” “Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution” and “Mentoring, Coaching and Championing” for the ABA LEL Section Leadership Development Program in August 2012
- a program entitled “Managing and Mentoring Women: Enhancing the Probability for Success” for Lex Mundi Institute (“LMI”) Foundation Management Program in July 2012
- a program entitled “Gender-Based Behavioral Differences” for Lex Mundi Managing Partners Conference in July 2012
- and a workshop on the topic of self promotion for NY City Bar Association in March 2012
Ms. Pigott also regularly publishes on topics relating to leadership, diversity and retention.
- She authored an article entitled “Creating Positive Visibility Virtually” for the Practising Law Institute (“PLI”) Chronicle in April 2021.
- She authored an article entitled “Navigating the Double Bind, The Path to Authentic Leadership” for the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) GPSolo Jul-Aug 2020 magazine.
- She wrote a chapter entitled “Creating Positive Visibility” for the PLI’s An Associate’s First Year, A Guide to Thriving at a Law Firm book published in 2018.
- She authored an article entitled “Navigating the Double Bind, The Path to Authentic Leadership” which appeared in the November/December 2017 ABA Law Practice publication.
- She authored an article entitled “Investing In Your High Potentials: Coaching Circles” which appeared in Thomson Reuters’ Practice Innovations newsletter in March 2016.
- She co-authored a publication entitled “What You Need to Know About Negotiating Compensation” for the ABA Presidential Task Force on Gender Equity and the Commission on Women in the Profession in July 2013.
- She co-authored an article entitled “Diversity at Law Firms in the Post-Recession Era” for the Spring 2013 Texas State Bar Corporate Counsel newsletter.
- She was featured in an article entitled “The Rules (for Women): Steps May Be Unspoken But They Are Necessary, Successful Partners Say” which appeared in the January 2012 ABA Journal.
- She wrote an article entitled “Flexibility in the Legal Workplace: Policies Versus Practice” in February 2011.
- She co-authored the “Guide to Best Practices in Mentoring, Coaching and Championing” for Lex Mundi’s GOAL initiative in 2010.
- She wrote an article entitled “Diversity Metrics – Be Strategic About Your “Grade” which appeared in the October 2010 Law Firm Partnership & Benefits Report.
- She co-authored an article entitled “People Power” which appeared in the October 2010 Managing Partner.
- She co-authored an article entitled “Constellation of Talents” which appeared in the March-May 2010 Women Legal Magazine.
- She was featured in a NALP Bulletin article entitled “Final Roundtable Assesses Impact of Recession, Looks Ahead to Recovery” in May 2010.
- She was featured in an article entitled “Change to Gain” which appeared in the December 2009-February 2010 Women Legal Magazine.
- She wrote an article entitled “There Isn’t One Path to Success” in February 2010.
- She wrote an article entitled “Diversity Metrics: Strategically Seek Your ‘Grade’” in November 2009.
- She wrote an article entitled “Articulating the Business Case for Inclusion” for the DRI Diversity newsletter in April 2009.
- She co-authored an article entitled “The Call to Action: Advancing Women Attorneys in Leadership in Chicago,” which appeared in the March 2009 Illinois State Bar Association (“ISBA”) Catalyst newsletter.
- She co-authored an article for the Alliance News, a newsletter of the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women entitled “Call to Action on Women in Leadership in the Chicago Legal Community” in Winter 2008.
- She updated two chapters on the topics of associate hiring, training and promotion and the changing practice of law for How to Manage Your Law Office, a publication updated annually by LexisNexis Matthew Bender (latest release December 2008).
- She was featured in an article entitled “Female Partners Climb at 11 Firms” in The Chicago Tribune in November 2008.
- She was quoted in an article entitled “Women Post Gains in Law Firms that Joined Initiative” in the Law Bulletin in November 2008.
- She was featured in Chicago Bar Association Advisory entitled “Bar Association Women’s Alliance to Announce Top Law Firm Leaders, Results of Initiative on Women in Law Firms” in October 2008.
- She wrote an article entitled “Intergenerational Competency in the Legal Workplace” in October 2008.
- Her article entitled “Chicago Bar Association’s Call to Action: Progress on Women in Leadership in the Legal Profession” was published in the June 2008 issue of Illinois State Bar Association (“ISBA”) Diversity Matters newsletter.
- She was quoted in an article entitled “Women Get a Boost Up That Tall Leadership Ladder” which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on June 10, 2008.
- Her article entitled “Creating Positive Visibility Within Your Organization” was published in the Law Firm Partnership & Benefits Report in February 2008.
- Her article entitled “Affinity Groups: Tools for Retention” was published in the Law Firm Partnership & Benefits Report in August 2007.
Ms. Pigott is an active impact investor through both direct investments and funds. She invests her expertise and resources in enterprises with women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) founders and leaders.
Ms. Pigott received a BA with honors from the University of Virginia and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law.