As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, we reflect on International Women’s Day last week and the staggering achievements that women have made on a global-scale. “This year’s International Women’s Day theme, ‘Choose to Challenge,’ is a soft spoken battle cry to inspire those confronting gender bias and pay inequalities to take action,” says Trula Mitchell. “It’s a powerful whisper of encouragement and the positive self-talk of our inner voices prompting us to speak out and to lean into the obstacles between us and our professional goals.”
Known as a “Grady Baby,” Trula was delivered at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta— signifying a true native of the city. Although she would make her way back in 2016, the workers’ compensation attorney has traveled throughout the southeast, not only advancing her education and career, but persevering along the way. Raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Trula recalls being in the third grade and knowing that she would one day become an attorney—something that her father not only encouraged but also supported.
Trula attended the University of South Carolina School of Law after graduating with her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from West Virginia University. After spending three years in the claims department at Zurich US, she joined MGC’s Charlotte team in 2000, then relocated to the firm’s Raleigh office in 2006 where she was named a North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2011 and 2012. While practicing in North Carolina, Trula appeared multiple times before the North Carolina Industrial Commission and held multiple cases before the North Carolina Court of Appeals—including two oral arguments regarding workers’ compensation coverage disputes. 2016 brought a new opportunity, as Trula co-opened MGC’s Atlanta office alongside of two male colleagues and was tasked with building the firm’s Georgia practice from scratch.
Trula has practiced, and excelled, with MGC for nearly 20 years. “For women my age, who once thought it taboo to suggest that women may face hidden obstacles to professional advancement, WIN @ MGC is an incredible step forward,” she adds. “[This initiative] is an acknowledgement that female lawyers may face hidden barriers that their male counterparts do not; WIN @ MGC provides a platform to start the discussion.” Since its inception in 2019, the firm’s initiative has supported women across MGC—from administrative and legal staff to attorneys—through engagement, development and leadership opportunities.
“Gender bias can be more nuanced than other forms of discrimination,” Trula explains, “and those in positions of authority are often quick to provide an explanation or to discredit the existence of gender bias altogether. The first step to combatting bias in any organization is to educate the leadership on its existence and to build a consensus that eliminating the bias will advance the business’s objectives.”
“In the words of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” Trula adds, “’Real change, enduring change, happens one step at time.’”