Monica Sussman


You Can't Do It All!

Ep. 14 - Has your career and being a mother collided? Imagine getting pregnant right after joining a new job in a firm that does not have a maternity policy. Monica Hilton Sussman recounts the struggle for acceptance as a female attorney and, then as a pregnant female attorney during an era that never fathomed this could really happen in "our" place of work. Fast-forwarding, she recalls the later struggle to work-while-fighting-breast-cancer; two things her male counterparts could never relate to! The upside was a pregnancy that required her law firm to adopt a maternity policy benefitting she and other women; and the much later saving grace of cell phones for managing nannies and children! Monica has worked in the affordable housing sector for decades both in the private and public sectors. She made a career in politics in an era when not many women were doing it and phones and computers to work from home were nonexistent.

Top Takeaways:

    • The difference between the time when technology was analog and there were no phones and the digital age
    • The difficulty of making the right choices career-wise and the importance of having encouraging people that push you towards doing better
    • Learning to say no to some work tasks that stop us from spending time with our family as women
    • The power of setting limits for yourself and watching out for the signals
    • The importance of loving what you do and taking advantage of time and experiences that life presents to you

Listen in to learn what it was like for Monica working in the affordable housing sector while juggling motherhood.

"Do it today, don't wait for tomorrow. If something is important to you then, do it." -Monica Sussman

Monica Hilton Sussman is a former deputy general counsel for HUD. She brings nearly 30 years of experience in affordable housing, Section 8 and FHA multifamily programs. Monica represents developers in all types of affordable housing transactions and continues her strong relationship with HUD headquarters and regionally. She was recognized in the Best Lawyers in America for her work in real estate law.

Monica chaired the Committee on Opinions and Administrative Procedures of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association and co‑chaired the ABA's Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law 1997 annual meeting. She served as president of the National Housing Conference from 1997 to 2000. Previously, she has served as vice president and annual meeting chairperson of the National Housing Conference. She has also been actively involved in the National Leased Housing Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and The Institute for Responsible Housing Preservation. She has lectured frequently at business and industry meetings.

Learn how life events have changed who she is today and becoming in the future.

Key Takeaways:

Monica describes the events that happened when choosing a career, studying law, moving to Washington DC, and how her career in affordable housing has kept her there [2:43]

She explains her role working for the government as a woman, her job at HUD, and her experience after getting pregnant working at a law firm [6:42]

How her parents loved and supported her decision to become a career woman and going to HUD twice [12:59]

Why it is difficult to transition from a private to a government job and the difference between the two [16:16]

Why she believes that not spending enough time getting involved with her kids' activities was the hardest thing [19:43]

How to delegate work and focus on other things as a woman- get rid of the mentality that you can do it all by yourself [21:59]

She describes how she sees her future looking like in the next five years [25:21]

The events in life that have changed how Monica used to stress plus her cancer journey and what it taught her [30:28]

The things that she's proud of achieving and her regrets as a mom [38:37]

What she is doing to better the next generation and see to their success [41:29]


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