Silver Circle Gala Honors Attorney Ivy Kagan Bierman
"I'm actually saddened by the state of things in our industry. I would hope we would be further along than we are," said Bierman.
The Venice Family Clinic’s 37th annual Silver Circle Gala on Monday put on a spotlight on women’s issues by bestowing its Humanitarian Award to entertainment attorney Ivy Kagan Bierman, a longtime leading force in helping industry businesses and organizations shape and modify their office cultures in terms of sexual harassment and gender equality policies.
“At first I was reticent to accept the award because I had not really done things in what I thought was the health area,” Bierman, an entertainment partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP, told The Hollywood Reporter at the event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
“The more we talked, I became comfortable with accepting the award because I started to realize the connection between the work I'm doing to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment with the work the clinic does every day,” Bierman explained. “Women come to the clinic on a regular basis having been harassed, having been sexually assaulted, victims of domestic violence. So I saw this connection that I didn't know existed, and now I'm going to be involved with the women's shelter.”
Bierman has specialized in the kind of legal concerns that fall under the umbrella of the #MeToo movement for a quarter of a century prior to those forces emerging as cultural gamechangers, and she’s hoping to continue to lead the a systematic change for the better.
“I've been drumming on that drum for the last 25 years,” she said. “I work with mostly companies, and I've been working really hard to have the clients I work with do the right thing and have good cultures. And I'm actually saddened by the state of things in our industry. I would hope we would be further along than we are … I think it is a day of reckoning and we're all trying to figure it out.”
Added Bierman, “My practice has really evolved into much more of this work than it was before. And I think the thing I'm most excited about is I am really focused on changing the culture, shifting cultures. I'm trying to get companies to be very proactive instead of just reactive, and have me come in and look at their cultures from top to bottom and make recommendations how to make their culture a better culture. A safer place for people to work. A place where people can thrive.”
The organization also honored architect Russel Tyner of Houston/Tyner with its Irma Colen Leadership Award for his three-decade-plus-long support of the clinic through both volunteer work and pro bono efforts designing its medical facilities. “I love seeing the families come in with their kids and they're like, ‘Oh, wow — we're getting help,’” Tyner told THR. “I see when they walk out with a sense of relief. It makes me feel really good that I was a part of that.”
Guests at the gala, sponsored by UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, included entertainment attorney and Time's Up founder Nina Shaw and Grey’s Anatomy actor Alex Landi.
"I think it's a great cause," said Landi. "Low-income people that are uninsured for health care, it's one of the biggest crises in our country, and I think the amount of money they're able to raise to help families in need is just incredible."
The gala raised more than $1.5 million for the clinic’s efforts, including a $100,000 donation from the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation.