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AGENDA: Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

08:00 AM
REGISTRATION & CHECK-IN
09:00 AM
OPENING COMMENTS
09:15 AM
Promoting Diversity & Inclusion in Law Firms & Corporations: Disrupting Old Models & Lowering Attrition

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:

  • How can In-House counsel have a direct impact, not only by fostering an inclusive culture within their departments, but also by committing to hiring law firms that employ and promote women and minorities?
  • What steps law firms can take, such as re-thinking the allocation of origination credit, instituting a gender-diverse committee and third-party oversight of the firm’s practices, and ensuring the firm’s succession plan is gender neutral?
  • What can individual counsel do to affect organizational culture?






10:00 AM
NETWORKING BREAK
10:15 AM
Countering the #MeToo Backlash: 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






11:00 AM
NETWORKING BREAK
11:15 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
12:00 PM
NETWORKING BREAK
12:15 PM
A Country in Crisis: How the Pandemic has Exacerbated Economic Disparities in America

We are in the midst of a pandemic and it will be a long recovery from COVID-19. Among the many issues is the reality that companies will continue to cut pay and lay more people off. Studies show that the choices they make will have a disparately negative impact on attorneys of color and women. This has far reaching consequences that go beyond the workplace. Access to good work is one thing, but the problem goes much deeper. Access to healthcare, and other vital resources, has long been in an issue. As recent events in Minneapolis and around the globe have demonstrated, we’ve reached a tipping point. 

This panel will explore:

  • How this pandemic has contributed to uncovering the disparity between marginalized and privileged groups
  • How to make this an opportunity to have some difficult but necessary conversations
  • Why it is important to double down on diversity and inclusion efforts, emphasizing a commitment to those values.
  • How leadership in both law firms and companies can create a sense of community and belonging and why it is especially important during times of crisis. 




01:00 PM
NETWORKING BREAK
01:15 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






02:00 PM
NETWORKING BREAK
02:15 PM
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




03:00 PM
NETWORKING BREAK
03:15 PM
Virtual Commuting, Caregiving & Corona: Remote Work Strategies

Working remotely has created a new set of challenges for women and minorities especially those that are also in a caregiver role. Whether you are caring for children, elderly parents or just having a balanced work-life integration, COVID-19 has placed an even greater strain on those already trying to keep up with the demands of a successful career.

This panel will explore:

  • Best practices for working remotely
  • Why companies should support – not penalize – parents and caregivers now and in the future
  • Realistic tips for achieving balance
  • The silver linings: How the pandemic will change the way we work and create more opportunities for flexibility




04:00 PM
NETWORKING RECEPTION & RAFFLE