annual conference Archives - Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

Action Step –
Highlights From the 2018 Annual Conference

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility.  Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center.

The following are highlights from the many words of wisdom shared by our dynamic and engaging 2018 Annual Conference panelists and speakers:

– Nicole Collier, Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Nestlé: We see this urgency to address diversity and inclusion from the investor community. This needs to be a company-wide discussion where you can talk about differences outside of the workplace.

– Vipula Gandhi, Managing Partner, Eastern US, Gallup Inc.: Experiences matter, and the war for talent is more. Employees are looking and leaving; the world of work is evolving; there are more women and millennials; and when, why, and how we work has changed. Millennials need purpose, want a coach, and care about learning and development versus just having a job.

– Michelle Gold, Partner & Governance Committee Member, Fried Frank (2018 Flex Impact Organization Honoree): We want our associates back for their careers. The key has been communication, and no one size fits all. A person’s job is to speak up, and everyone has to share information.

– Sarah Goldfrank, Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Fannie Mae: We need to walk the walk and not just talk – that isn’t fair to employees. We have to ask what have we done to increase diversity within and beyond the company and hold ourselves accountable.

 

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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.

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

Getting to Know Our Conference Speakers –
Tammy Wincup

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 Tammy Wincup, Chief Operating Officer at EVERFI.

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

Tammy Wincup: The issues of diversity, inclusion, and flexibility are not taboo topics for just a few on the fringes of our organizations.  We must make them population level discussions even if we make mistakes.

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

TW: It took such courage for the first survivors to speak out.  But it will take the energy and commitment of all of us – each generation – to keep the recognition that work must not be a place of intimidation and fear.

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

TW: We must acknowledge that creating an inclusive organization is a daily journey.  As leaders we need to model it with actions large and small, and then we need to give the organization the support to create a culture that spreads it, over and over again, person by person.  It’s a journey, not an end-game.

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

TW: Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix and Facebook board member. Netflix is Reed’s second company, and he is super honest about what mistakes he made the first time and how he is conscious of those everyday. He is also a huge believer in education reform and puts his time and resources into our industry as well. He has been a great role model to many of us.

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

TW: A good tough hike, a cup of tea, and a great novel that makes you ignore the rest of the world.

Join us for our Annual Conference on Thursday, September 27th and learn how Tammy 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.

Getting to Know Our Conference Speakers –
Dr. Cindy Kelley

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 Dr. Cindy Kelley, Vice President of Medical Education at Summa Health.

Diversity & Flexibility AllianceWhat was the most meaningful piece of leadership advice you received?

Dr. Cindy Kelley: The most meaningful piece of leadership advice I received was…Be vulnerable.  I had to learn this from my own experience, the power of vulnerability.  And when I started reading more leadership books, I learned that the successful leaders are the ones who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable.  As leaders, we need to understand how important it is to:
a. Recognize that we don’t know it all,
b. Be open, truly open, to all ideas and perspectives, and
c. Be able to admit when we’ve made a mistake.  If more leaders could be vulnerable and role model this kind of openness, we’d see growth and change happen so much faster.

DFA: How do you recharge?
CK: I recharge at home.  I live in northeast Ohio so my recharging rituals vary depending on the weather!  In the winter, I’m most content on my couch with a fire in the fireplace and a book in my hands.  In the summer, trade the couch for an outdoor lounge chair, and the fireplace for our pool.  Keep the book in my hand!  I also love a morning walk with my dog; even better when one of my kids joins me. And yoga.  Ah, yoga!
DFA: What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

CK: I know this but I’m still trying to do it!  And that is, fight the urge to always be in the next place doing the next thing.  My daughters are the best ones at reminding me how important it is to be fully engaged in what I am doing right now.  My 8 year old even gently puts her hands on either side of my head, turns it so I’m looking directly at her and says, “Mom, you need to look at me,” when she knows I’m only half-listening to her.  Kids know.

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

CK: I think creating more inclusive organizations begins with a few basic things. First, we need to listen.  Listen to each other, to people that don’t look like us/talk like us/dress like us.  We need to listen for and find the places where we overlap:  our values, needs, wants. Those are the same no matter what other differences we might have.  Next, when we are ready to talk, we need to change the words we use.  We need to use kinder words, and words that are free from bias and judgement.  That’s hard.  Not because we want to use hurtful language, but because we’ve learned this language over time from powerful influences all around us.  But we can change the dialogue and I believe that is where real change begins.  Lastly, we need to show up.  To meetings, town halls, events.  If you are lucky enough to be in a leadership role, you have the obligation to use your time, your most valuable asset, to make the world a better place.

 

Join us for our Annual Conference on September 27th as Dr. Kelley accepts the Flex Success Award with Dentons Partner Lori Mihalich-Levin and shares how together they have been able to create a successful relationship that supports flexibility and advances inclusive cultures.

Getting to Know Our Conference Speakers –
Lori Mihalich-Levin

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. Our first “Getting To Know Our Conference Speakers” post highlights Lori Mihalich-Levin, Partner at Dentons.

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

Lori Mihalich-Levin: That there are law firms that are committed to creativity when it comes to flexible arrangements, and that these arrangements can play a huge role in retaining talent.  There are also clients that are extremely supportive of flexibility, and it’s quite possible to have stellar client relationships and a flexible schedule.

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

LM-L: Recognize your worth, value, and what you bring to the table.  For example, you know all those skills you’re gaining in parenthood?  They are, in fact, useful in the workplace, too!

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

LM-L: I recharge every day in two key ways.  In the morning, before breakfast, I do 15 minutes of yoga and meditation on the dining room floor.  Yes, I’m sometimes interrupted (and climbed on!) by my kids, but I keep at it.  And after work, I recharge by turning off all electronics between 5 and 8pm to really be present with my husband and two boys.  I am most content when my day includes both meaningful connections with people I care deeply about and some alone time.

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

LM-L: That my career would turn out just fine, without my knowing every detail in advance.  I want to tell the 5th grade me who checked a huge book out of the library on various careers, read it cover to cover, and insisted she decide on one, that she should go outside and play!

DFA: How do you pay it forward?

LM-L: I pay it forward by committing to helping new parents navigate the rocky terrain of those early years of working parenthood.  I do this not only through the Mindful Return program I founded, but by intentionally connecting with and mentoring new parent colleagues at my office.

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

LM-L: We can relax our grip on the belief that there is one, and only one, “way it’s done.”  Being open to creative approaches makes an organization more appealing to those who may not “fit the mold.”

Join us on September 27th as Lori accepts our 2018 Flex Success Award with her client, Dr. Cindy Kelley of Summa Health, and shares her insights and advice on achieving flex success while providing excellent client services and achieving partnership. 

Join More than 50 Law Firms & Fortune 500 Companies As We Tackle the Issues of Diversity and Flexibility

This week, in an intriguing post, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg reflected on how far (and not so far) we have come in gender equality in the five years since her book, Lean In, was released. While she cautioned that we should be both “outraged and optimistic” about the battle for gender parity, she also wisely stated:

“There are reasons to be hopeful. The facts are on our side. We know that diverse teams are more productive. We know that when organizations have more women, especially in leadership, employee benefits are more generous and sexual harassment is less prevalent…We know that when fathers invest more in their families, their children are happier, healthier, and do better in school and professionally.”

We couldn’t agree more.

On Wednesday, March 21, executives, chairs, leaders and general counsel from more than 50 top law firms and Fortune 500 companies will gather here in Washington, DC to tackle the important issues of diversity and flexibility in our workplaces. Our 2018 annual conference Diversity + Flexibility = Embracing Change, will empower attendees to make the changes needed to build a more inclusive environment, develop flexibility and leave initiatives that support all employees, advance diverse individuals and improve the recruitment and retention of top talent.

With limited time and resources, busy professionals often find it hard to justify spending a day at a conference. However, our conference might just be worth the investment. In just one day, our conference attendees walk away with the most effective strategies for real results. In just that one day, attendees can build a network of dozens of senior level peers dedicated to advancing diversity and flexibility from across top ranking law firms and Fortune 500 companies.

Top five reasons anyone responsible for diversity and flexibility in an organization should not miss this conference:

  1. You’ll hear about diversity and flexibility best practices from top law firms like White & Case, Fried Frank, Akin Gump, Dentons, as well as corporations like Dell, Politico, Deloitte, Intel, Lockheed Martin, TV One and more;
  2. You’ll be the first to hear what is trending in law firm flexibility and leave initiatives as we release our 2017 Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Study results;
  3. You’ll learn about new cutting-edge data from Gallup about employee engagement and its role in the recruitment and retention of your future workforce;
  4. You’ll obtain first-hand advice and concrete tips from our KPMG women’s initiative case study;
  5. You’ll gain insights from General Counsel on how they are embracing change and the diversity commitment they expect from their outside counsel.

As we prepare for our conference we are reminded of the eloquent words of last year’s keynote speaker, John Veihmeyer, Retired Chairman of KPMG International. In his Linked In article about the day, John stated “Unless people in your organization think you see building an inclusive culture, that stimulates diversity, as fundamental to both the organization’s, and their success, it simply won’t be a priority.”

Why not make it a priority today?

Please register here.