annual conference Archives - Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

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.