As a divorce lawyer I am approached on a regular basis by various real estate agents and professionals who want to “exchange referrals” which generally means they want me to send them my soon-to-be-divorced clients who are selling their homes. Usually I politely as possible tell them that I am not interested since this is going to be a one way relationship and I’ve never, in 21 years of practice, had an agent send me a divorce or a child custody case.

Then along came Louisette Geiss, co-founder of RWIRELA – Real Women in Real Estate Los Angeles, we started chatting on the phone, and within three minutes I wanted to meet her. We ended up having a short meeting at Kreation Organic Kafe on Montana Avenue where the conversation was one of those where each of us was talking over the other because we had so much in common and wanted to share more, faster.

That morning coffee, led to an afternoon tea at Ye Olde King’s Head with her two adorable daughters having their first tea, and our continued exploration of professional friendship. Then it was snacks at the Power Women Summit at the Fairmont Miramar sponsored by TheWrap.com. We’ve clearly become event buddies which is great since as the founder of RWIRELA Louisette is connected with the top real estate agents, lawyers and advocates who are some of the most interesting and powerful women in Los Angeles.

RWIRELA is the local outpost of an international organization that was founded in Australia, bringing two powerful industries together for the betterment of women in the professional world. The purpose is to help women get ahead with networking in traditionally male dominated industries by confronting the myth that there is a lack of female leaders and role models.

By creating a forum for women to communicate problems and challenges, workshop solutions and just encourage each other RWIRELA is working to create a more equal and open environment that encourages collaboration. As women meet and get to know role models that they can rely upon, they will be empowered to succeed on their career paths.

What is awesome about RWIRELA is that it is open to both men and women. This makes me think much more highly of the organization, as my experience has been that some of the best business mentors I’ve had were strong women who demonstrated for me how to be assertive without being an ass. In a world of #MeToo and changing dynamics of male/female relationships both in the workplace and home, it is refreshing to have an organization that is tackling head on the issues, and not retreating behind some of the politically frothy language, or positioning of “victimhood” or “cancel culture”, but working toward real engagement and solutions.

RWIRELA is having an end of the year bash and speaker’s panel this coming Thursday at Skylight Gardens, 1139 Glendon Avenue, in Westwood from 6 – 9:30 p.m. The event usually sells out, ($20 in advance/ $30 at the door) the proceeds benefit Voices in Action a non-profit that seeks to support and empower individuals who have been assaulted. Looking at the list of scheduled speakers and guests I can see why this event sells out: Beth Fegan, Esq who is counsel on the Harvey Weinstein Class Action Lawsuit, Sandra Miller Principal Broker at Engel and Volkers Santa Monica, Glen Coutinho from Harcourts Beverly Hills, Alexandre Anu from VH1 “Love and Listings”, Heather Altman from Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, Jessica Barth Founder of Voices in Action, and Angel Horacek Esq an Employment and Civil Rights attorney.

This is what will bring real change to our society. People working together, to have honest conversations and making a real connection between industries to spearhead change and transformation. This event promises to be more than just another hot appetizer and boring “elevator pitches” experience and I’m looking forward to attending this Thursday.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra

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