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AGENDA: Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

08:00 AM
REGISTRATION & CHECK-IN
09:00 AM
OPENING COMMENTS
09:15 AM
The Current Landscape: Gender Diversity, Pay Equity & Creating Change

Time's 2017 person of the year was The Silence Breakers. How can the legal community use this momentum to create more opportunities and diversity? Key metrics such as pay equity and the ratio of women in leadership positions, show that there is inequality both in-house and at law firms. Implicit and explicit sexism is real – what can be done to create change on an individual basis, in organizations and across the country?

This panel will examine:

  • Silence Breakers and utilizing the country’s awareness
  • The current pay equity landscape for female lawyers both in-house and at law firms
  • How can the current momentum be used for change?
  • What does top down change look like?






10:00 AM
NETWORKING SESSION
10:15 AM
Increasing Diversity at Law Firms & In-House: The Role We All Play

According to McKinsey & Company, the Harvard Business Review and other highly respected institutions, organizations that commit themselves to diverse leadership, are more successful and more profitable. A growing body of evidence is finding that gender parity and racial diversity, particularly in decision-making roles, has a meaningful impact on innovation, productivity, and profitability. This is not breaking news. Why then is the legal field still lagging behind? The answer is that there is no single answer. Change will happen when the issue is pushed by both the law firm and the client.

This panel will explore: 

  • What are the pressures that in-house counsel face when choosing a firm?
  • How can partners and associates engage their firm in D&I initiatives?
  • How can firms show their clients that they are implementing change?
  • How is credit given at law firms?
  • What responsibility do in-house counsel have in helping law firms to become more diverse?
  • What can corporations do to become more diverse?






11:00 AM
NETWORKING SESSION
11:15 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






12:00 PM
NETWORKING SESSION
12:15 PM
Cultivating Male Allies & Change Agents

Rarely do we see inclusion strategies that stress the need to include, listen to, and work with the dominant group — the group that is seeing its preeminence questioned. However, leadership/guidance 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.

Further, when it comes to career advancement, it is important to have multiple and diverse advocates. When it comes to women’s advancement, men matter. The reality is that women occupy only 21% of senior business roles in the U.S. and 22% globally, making men some of the most powerful stakeholders in leading corporations. The percentages are even lower for women in equity partnership positions in law firms. Efforts to bridge identity barriers are essential.

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






01:00 PM
NETWORKING SESSION
01:15 PM
Challenging the Status Quo: Self-Advocacy & Countering Personal Negation

By now it’s fairly common knowledge: Women often do not apply for a job if they don’t check every box, whereas men regularly seek jobs for which they are only partially qualified. This is no less true in the legal profession, and applies to landing an entry-level associate position all the way up to being promoted to general counsel or making partner.

The reality is, as you advance in your legal career, you very rarely have all the skills, experience and capabilities that a new post will require. Instead, pursuing growth opportunities requires the confidence to see your own potential to develop the necessary commercial awareness, analytical skills or litigation experience on the job, rather than waiting until you’re “perfectly prepared.” It can also be of tremendous value to enlist the right mentors and sponsors who will vouch for you and push your name forward for the opportunities you want.

This panel will explore:

  • The meritocracy and why it cannot be relied on
  • The ASK: Asking for what you want and knowing why you deserve it
  • Dealing with rejection: Every “no” means you are closer to a “yes”
  • Differentiating sponsors from influencers and mentors
  • Cultivating potential sponsors
  • What are the best ways to advocate for ourselves and others?






02:00 PM
NETWORKING SESSION
02:15 PM
Mentor & Sponsorship: Creating Growth in Your Organization

Initiatives such as mentorship and sponsorship create a profoundly positive impact towards facilitating professional growth for women. For example, 70% of female corporate workers believe they are high-potential employees, however only 28% aspire to the C-suite. With mentorship, C-suite aspirations jump to over 40%, and with sponsorship the number increases to 50%. How to utilize these resources to bring more diversity to high level positions?

This panel will examine:

  • What does a good mentorship program look like?
  • The difference between mentorship and sponsorship
  • Making the most of your mentorship
  • Being a good mentor
  • What can you do now?




03:00 PM
NETWORKING SESSION
03:15 PM
Lessons Learned from Female & Minority Leaders, Litigators & Deal-Makers

Female and minority deal-makers, litigators and leaders have overcome challenges, preconceptions, and prejudices that can provide valuable insights and lessons learned.  In the current landscape more opportunities for women and minorities could be opening up.  What skills will you need to rise in your career today and the future? 

This panel will examine:

  • Will more opportunities be opening up for women and minorities?
  • What were the obstacles and challenges you faced that surprised you?
  • What are the keys to gaining the best mix of work and personal/family life?
  • What do you notice as more females and minorities move into leadership roles?








04:00 PM
NETWORKING RECEPTION & RAFFLE