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AGENDA: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

07:30 AM
REGISTRATION & CHECK-IN
08:30 AM
OPENING COMMENTS


08:45 AM
Dealing with Unconscious Bias & Discrimination

Whether discrimination comes from overt prejudice or unconscious bias, minorities and women are not receiving equal opportunities or treatment when it comes to landing in-house counsel positions, earning promotions, or making partner in a law firm. In fact, the impact of unconscious bias can be insidious and underestimated or rationalized too easily. How can lawyers identify their own unconscious biases and overcome discrimination when it affects them directly?

This panel will explore:

  • The types of unconscious bias to look out for:
    • Power of language
    • Institutional bias
    • Ignorance and education
  • How to approach:
    • Managers
    • Peers
    • Direct reports
  • When an official approach is needed – reporting bias












09:35 AM
Sponsors, Influencers & Career Engineering for Legal Counsel

To create a rewarding legal career, one must seek out challenging and visible professional opportunities: getting on the right case, satisfying the important client, winning the big settlement. For women and minorities, however, finding these opportunities often isn’t enough; effective sponsors and influencers are needed to help seize them.

Behind closed doors, who is vouching for you and pushing your name forward for the opportunities you want? What can you do to strategically foster sponsors and influencers?

This panel will explore:

  • The importance of women and minorities in law
  • Differentiating sponsors from influencers
  • Redefining the “old boys network” in the legal profession
  • Identifying current and potential sponsors












10:20 AM
NETWORKING BREAK
10:40 AM
The Time for Change is Now: Developing & Promoting Leaders of Color

Leaders of color are resolute in their determination to get ahead. Why then do so few make it to the top in Big Law or major corporations? The numbers are abysmal with 2.81 percent in equity partnership positions and 3.9 percent in the C-suite. Due to ongoing events since the spring of 2020, public outcry for change is at an all-time high. And while diversity and inclusion initiatives are becoming more commonplace in both law firms and corporate America, progress is slow.

This panel will explore:

  • The challenges that minority leaders face in the legal profession
  • Why law firms and other employers should care about retaining and advancing people of color
  • Performative vs. Sustainable change
  • Affinity groups and other resources
  • Success stories - Advice for young attorneys of color












11:30 AM
Fostering Diversity & A Culture of Inclusion within Legal Leadership

There is a clear business case for expanding diversity within the ranks of an organization. Starting at the top: when 25% or more of management and/or board members are women, profit and retention of an organization rises. General counsel and in-house counsel can have a direct impact by not only fostering an inclusive culture within their department, but also by committing to hiring law firms that employ and promote women and minorities.

This panel will explore:

  • How to take advantage of the current landscape to create change
  • What individual counsel can do to affect organizational culture
  • The important role law firms play in improving legal diversity:
    • The impact on corporate diversity
    • More diverse partners & retention












12:20 PM
NETWORKING BREAK
12:45 PM
Work-Life Integration: Balancing Professional Success & Personal Fulfillment

Whether working at a large firm or a corporation, the demands of the workplace can be overwhelming. This holds true even if a firm or company has progressive family friendly policies such as flex time and paid parental leave. In fact, many professionals find that when they do take advantage of something like flex time, they feel they are marginalized onto a “mommy track” and penalized at compensation time. As these choices are becoming more acceptable for men, they too have felt the sting of retribution for taking personal time.

This panel will explore strategies to achieve greater personal & professional balance:

  • Self-representation, generating awareness and setting boundaries at work
  • How can companies and firms create new policies that address the need for more balance? Forward-thinking companies know this helps to attract and retain the best talent
    • Promoting teamwork through a collaborative partner compensation model that still meets the demands of clients while creating more space to have a life outside the office
  • Since life/work balance is different for everyone, how can you identify the right life/work balance for you, and then take the necessary steps to achieve that optimal balance?








01:35 PM
Redefining Success in the Age of COVID-19: The Bridge to the New Normal

Women often do not apply for a job or a promotion if they don’t check every box, whereas men regularly seek jobs for which they are only partially qualified. The challenge can be even more daunting when considering a dream job or career choice that is not part of the normal trajectory. While the virus has pushed us out of our comfort zones, it has also presented a unique opportunity to explore our options. Pursuing these options (whether it be a raise, a promotion or a nontraditional path) requires the confidence courage to see your own potential in order to go after what is important to you.

This panel will explore:

  • Letting go of the past and finding new ways of adapting to the changes ahead
  • Getting clear with what you really want and making the current climate work for you
  • The ASK: Asking for what you want and knowing why you deserve
  • The role of sponsors, mentors and allies in getting us closer to our goals
  • How best to advocate for ourselves and others












02:25 PM
NETWORKING BREAK
02:45 PM
From Awareness to Inclusion: Countering the #MeToo Backlash by Enlisting Men to Become Ambassadors for Change

Rarely do we see inclusion strategies that stress the need to include, listen to, and work with the dominant group — the one that is seeing its preeminence questioned. However, that is where leadership is most needed: in helping today’s dominant group embrace tomorrow’s reality. While it goes without question that women and minorities in positions of power must help others to move the needle, a better approach may be to engage everyone in bringing about change. When it comes to women’s advancement, men matter. 

This panel will explore:

  • Identifying Male Allies
  • Developing an engagement strategy
  • How can you self-advocate in order to get buy-in from others?
  • What can law firms and corporations do to help?
  • Tips and success stories from the panelists








03:35 PM
PRESENTATION - Stereotypes: Know Them, Use Them, Break Them




03:55 PM
CLOSING COMMENTS


04:00 PM
NETWORKING RECEPTION & RAFFLE