Insights (Blog) - Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

Getting to Know Our Conference Speakers –
Stacia Jones

We’re just one week away!

We are so excited to have an amazing line-up of prominent leaders and trailblazers speaking at our 2018 Annual Conference Diversity + Flexibility = Embracing Change next Thursday, September 27.  We have been introducing these dynamic and engaging speakers during the past few months and sharing their diversity and flexibility insights here on our blog. We asked our speakers to answer a few questions about themselves, their approach to their career, and their lives. This week’s “Getting To Know Our Conference Speakers” post highlights Stacia Marie Jones, Esq., Associate General Counsel & Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at
Abercrombie & Fitch.

Diversity & Flexibility Alliance: What’s the most important message you hope attendees will learn from your panel?

Stacia Jones: The most important message is that to effectively and meaningfully push the needle on diversity in law firms, in-house legal teams must first decide that diversity is important and to then work with law firms that share those same values.

DFA: When the next generation learns about the #MeToo movement what do you hope has changed? 

SJ: That there is no longer a need for the movement because this behavior will not be tolerated.

DFA: What was the most meaningful piece of leadership advice you received? 

SJ: Lead with passion and compassion, in a caring manner that does not alienate or disenfranchise others.

DFA: Who has had the most influence on your career?

SJ: I don’t know that I can name one person, as many individuals have had significant, lasting influences on my career.

DFA: How do you recharge? 

SJ: Spending time with my family and getting in some alone time.

DFA: Where and when are you most content?  

SJ: At home and at church.

DFA: What do you know now that you wish you knew then?  

SJ: Most things work out and that overthinking matters causes undue anxiety and stress that usually does not make matters better. 

DFA: How do you pay it forward? 

SJ: Having a positive influence over colleagues on my team and on those who aspire professionally to have a similar career path.  Working with teenagers at church on professional development.

DFA: What can we be doing to create more inclusive organizations?  

SJ: Ensuring that everyone understands the importance of diversity and the positive impact that inclusivity has on employees. By cultivating an inclusive environment, it encourages everyone to be their whole selves.

It’s not too late to register for next week!

Join us next Thursday, September 27th to hear Stacia’s panel “Making Change Happen from the Outside-In: The Power of Client Persuasion.” Stacia will join other leading in-house counsel to discuss the importance of diverse teams and inclusive cultures, both internally and externally, and the role they are playing to make change happen from the outside-in with their law firms and other vendors.

Getting to Know Our Conference Speakers –
Traci Schweikert

We are so excited to have an amazing line-up of prominent leaders and trailblazers speaking at our 2018 Annual Conference Diversity + Flexibility = Embracing Change on Thursday, September 27.  We’ll be introducing these dynamic and engaging speakers throughout the summer and sharing their diversity and flexibility insights here on our blog. We’ve asked our speakers to answer a few questions about themselves, their approach to their career, and their lives. This week’s “Getting To Know Our Conference Speakers” post highlights Traci Schweikert, Vice President of Human Resources at Politico.

Diversity & Flexibility Alliance: What’s the most important message you hope attendees will learn from your panel?

Traci Schweikert: Flexibility is a crucial part of creating a more inclusive workplace. If we continue to lean on policies, programs and benefits that were in place when we first entered the workforce years ago, we aren’t moving forward to create a more welcoming environment.

DFA: When the next generation learns about the #MeToo movement what do you hope has changed?

TS: That women and men will insist on the workplace culture we all deserve.  No one should ever suffer thinking that they have to ‘pay their dues’ by accepting uncivil or inappropriate behavior from co-workers or leaders.

DFA: What was the most meaningful piece of leadership advice you received? Who has had the most influence on your career?

TS: I have had the benefit of working for and with many excellent leaders who offered me opportunities to stretch.  Once the Global CFO of an organization I was working for told me to never apologize for the choices I needed to make as a working mom.  She explained that those choices needed to be a normal part of the workday, not the exceptions of a few.

DFA: How do you recharge? Where and when are you most content?

TS: Time to read feels like a luxury.  I am most content sitting on the couch reading while my boys sit close reading as well.

DFA: What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

TS: I spent too many years trying to create true work-life balance.  What I know now is we all find our rhythm. We pick important moments at work and at home and let the smaller moments go.  I have also learned to lean on my many support systems to help maintain that rhythm.

DFA: How do you pay it forward?

TS: As an executive, my job is to remove obstacles that prevent my team’s good ideas from sprouting.  I pay it forward by magnifying their voices and negotiating for the resources and organizational support they need to make those ideas real.

DFA: What can we be doing to create more inclusive organizations?

TS: Inclusion happens when each of us steps outside our familiar and commits to one truly new conversation or experience.  We can’t wait for someone else to provide us with an opportunity for diversity or inclusion.  We need to seek it out.

 

Join us for our Annual Conference on Thursday, September 27th and learn how Traci and her fellow panelists are transforming their organizations’ cultures through diversity and flexibility. Their panel, Making Change Happen from the Inside-Out: Industry Leaders Shaping the Organizational Culture, will run from 2:00 – 3:00 pm.

September 27 Conference to Showcase Innovative Best Practices, Latest Trends, Cutting-edge Research on Diversity & Flexibility

Washington, DC – September 6, 2018 – The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance will hold its highly anticipated Annual Conference, Diversity + Flexibility = Embracing Change, on Thursday, September 27 at the Washington, DC Offices of Jones Day. This interactive, one-day event delivers the latest trends, cutting-edge research and best practices in diversity and flexibility and attracts professionals from all industries. This conference was originally scheduled for March, but was postponed due to a snowstorm in DC. Registration and more information are available here.

The conference is widely known as one of the DC area’s largest gatherings of prominent leaders from around the world committed to strategically addressing the critical issues of Diversity and Flexibility.  Leaders, General Counsel and Chairs from corporations like KPMG, Dell, Intel, Abercrombie & Fitch, EverFi, Fannie Mae, Politico, and countless prominent law firms will share personal experiences and valuable insights into the evolution of their organizations’ diversity and flexibility initiatives.

“Our conference provides a unique opportunity to hear expert insights and first-hand perspectives from top-level executives and those blazing the trail in the advancement of diversity and flexibility,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “In just one day, attendees acquire concrete strategies and critical information that enables them to implement real change in their organizations,” she added.

The Alliance will also present the following awards to individuals, leaders, and organizations that are leading the way in successfully implementing flexible work:

– The 2018 Flex Impact Award, which recognizes initiatives that are poised to have a significant impact on the culture of flexibility, will be presented to: Dell for its highly-successful flexible work initiative; law firm Fried Frank for its full-pay, on-ramping (return from leave) policy; and, law firm White & Case for its gender-neutral leave policy which is extended to both attorneys and staff. (Access detailed press release here.)

– The 2018 Flex Leader Award will be presented to Kim Koopersmith, chairperson of Akin Gump, for her unwavering support of and commitment to providing holistic flexible work options for all. (Access detailed press release here.)

– The 2018 Flex Success Award, acknowledges law firm partners who achieve success while working a reduced hours schedule and their clients who have been integral to making their flexibility a success. This year’s honorees will be Lori Mihalich-Levin, Partner, Dentons, and her client Dr. Cindy Kelley, Vice President, Medical Education, Summa Health. (Access detailed press release here.)

This year’s featured speaker, Vipula Gandhi, of Gallup Inc., will present eye-opening data and analysis on the State of the American Workplace including perspective on employee engagement, organizational culture, and performance management. Other highlights will include: valuable insights and perspective on the results of the Alliance’s Annual Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Study; a case study presentation describing the development, implementation and management of KPMG’s highly successful women’s initiative; panel discussions emphasizing the role that clients play in encouraging diversity; and, presentations on leading best practices on flexibility and leave policies.

The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance is a think tank that collaborates with organizations to develop non-stigmatized flexible work policies that promote inclusive work cultures and help to advance more women into leadership positions. The Alliance provides practical research-based solutions, training workshops, and strategic advisory services that increase organizational effectiveness through diversity and flexibility.

 

For more information contact:

Manar Morales

manar@dfalliance.com

202-957-9650