Women in Business Q&A: Nicole Noonan, Esq., CEO of Novitas US

Nicole Noonan, Esq., CEO of Novitas US, is a nationally recognized divorce expert. Crowned the "Fairy Godmother of Divorce" by the New York Post's Julia Marsh, Nicole is an advocate for the protection of women and their rights. Nicole is a frequent featured speaker on Bloomberg's "Talking Stock with Pimm Fox". She has been featured on Good Morning America, Bloomberg TV, and WLNY's "The Couch".

Recognized by New York Magazine as New York's Women Leader's in the Law 2014. Nicole holds a BA from Boston College and a JD from Seton Hall University School of Law. As a former matrimonial attorney Nicole is very familiar with the issues facing the non-moneyed spouse. She remains a member of the New Jersey Bar.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I was fortunate to have attended an all-girls high school. Though at the time I did not realize the leadership skills they were fostering, in reflecting I see how big of an impact a single sex education made on my life. I am confident to arrive as the only woman in the boardroom and speak my mind.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Novitas, US Inc?
I can best help clients and their attorneys because I have first hand experience as a matrimonial attorney. I know there is a huge need for divorce funding. In my own practice, I saw clients that had a nice happy lifestyle, but because of a change at home became consumed by worry and fear. They questioned how they were going to afford to maintain their lifestyle during the divorce. Many had given up their careers to raise their children. They would ask me as their attorney how would they find a job and for the immediate concern, how could they even afford to retain my firm. I can see both sides, one from the attorney perspective, having to run a business and the possibility of growing accounts receivables. As well as the client, how could they afford proper representation when their spouse "controlled the purse strings?"

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Novitas, US Inc?
While my role at Novitas US is new, I am excited at the prospect of helping as many clients as possible along with their attorneys who are both facing the financial challenges of the divorce system.

What advice can you offer women who are looking to work in the corporate world?
Be your best self and never regret. There is a reason on a car that the review mirror is tiny and the windshield is much larger. Keep looking forward because if you look back you'll never go very far.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Now more than ever before it's becoming easier to have a good work/life balance. With laptops, cell phones and iPads we can literally work from anywhere. I believe it is important to spend time with friends and family. Being accessible thanks to technology means I can work the entire trip on the plane or train and be able to visit my grandmother in Boston or my parents in Florida. I can get away and still stay in touch.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
We are a new generation of working women. In law school, my class was the first to have more women than men graduates. I am a firm believer in women helping to foster the careers of other women. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same belief.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Upon graduating law school, I was very fortunate to clerk for the brilliant Judge Douglas M. Fasciale. He was a true mentor and inspiration in my life. He taught me the importance of listening. It is this 'listening' that is paramount in my everyday life. I have to be in tune with the needs of both the clients and the firms by listening to their needs.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
I admire Judge Judith Sheindlin (better known as Judge Judy). She went to law school at a time very few women even attended college. As a judge she stood up against child abuse and domestic violence. I still enjoy watching her today.

The Founder of the Junior League, Mary Harriman, is also someone I admire. Back in 1900's she was a student at Barnard College when she was so moved by the poverty in New York City that she decided to do something about it. She rallied her friends to join the cause, and soon they were visiting the Lower East Side settlements. There they began teaching and mentoring the immigrant families who were living there. Lastly, I admire my grandmother. She is the toughest woman I know. She was born right after the depression, worked, raised a family and is still very active in the community.

What do you want Novitas, US Inc to accomplish in the next year?
While divorce funding is prevalent in the UK, many Americans have not been introduced to the concept. Over the next year I want clients and firms across the country to know that Novitas US is there to assist with the needs of individuals engaged in the divorce process. Through our streamlined underwriting process and the financial strength of Novitas, we will endeavor to assist clients so they can begin the next chapter of their lives.