Press Releases


 

Washington, DC – July 10, 2020 – Today the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance released highlights from its Pulse Poll: COVID-19 and Re-Entry that emphasized the need for continued focus on inclusion for all employees in office re-entry practices.

The poll was developed to uncover important data and trends related to the approach law firms and corporations are taking during this initial office re-opening phase and to provide advice on best practices. The poll’s questions were related to office re-opening task forces, guidelines regarding which employees could continue to work remotely once states re-open, and the types of resources and training provided to employees.

“While many firms and corporations have pledged their commitment to diversity and inclusion in recent years, their actions as they re-open their offices during the COVID-19 crisis will demonstrate their sincerity and have a meaningful impact on all employees,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “While I am pleased to see that a significant number of firms and corporations are focusing on inclusion during office re-openings, I hope that more organizations will follow suit. It’s critical that firms and corporations incorporate D&I professionals in their Office Reopening Task Force, allow requests to continue to work remotely to be “reason-neutral,” and provide necessary virtual trainings,” she added.

The Pulse Poll revealed several noteworthy highlights, including:

  • The vast majority of participants (85.3%) have a task force focused on re-entry and nearly two-thirds of these task forces include a Diversity & Inclusion professional.
  • A significant share of participant organizations will allow all of their employees to work remotely (35.3%) and will use a “reason-neutral” process to determine who can work remotely  (44.1%). However, too many organizations are still limiting which employees can work remotely based upon their function and/or their risk level.
  • A significant share are planning on launching the following trainings: Best Practices for Working Remotely (38.2%, or 13 of 34), Best Practices for Leading Remote Teams (32.4%, or 11 of 34), and Unconscious Bias (23.5%, or 8 of 34).  Only a small number (3 of 34, or 8.8%) indicated they will have no trainings to support re-entry.

The Pulse Poll: COVID-19 AND Re-Entry consisted of responses from 34 law firms and corporations between May 14 and June 5, 2020. The complete report will be available exclusively to members of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance as well as poll participants.

The Diversity and 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.

Contact Manar Morales at manar@dfalliance.com for information on membership in the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance or for guidance on fostering flexibility and inclusion in your organization during this crisis and beyond.

 

Contact: Manar Morales

manar@dfalliance.com

202-957-9650

Washington, DC – March 16, 2020 – Given the growing number of organizations allowing employees to work remotely to reduce the spread of Coronvirus (COVID-19), the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance today released guidelines regarding telecommuting best practices to help ensure employees are safe, engaged and productive.

“We encourage all corporations and organizations to offer remote working to their employees, to the extent possible, during the Coronavirus crisis,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “However, it’s important that employers exercise patience as they implement remote working, in particular in organizations where telecommuting has not been the norm. Employers should be mindful of the unique challenges employees are facing during this unprecedented crisis, such as childcare during school closures, eldercare and a heightened level of anxiety and stress,” she added. “Employers should consider offering resources such as remote working training, as well as childcare and technology stipends to ease the economic and emotional tolls this crisis is taking.”

The following guidelines are relevant for both those organizations that already have a formal telecommuting policy, as well as those that don’t:

  1. Clearly Communicate Availability and/or Need to Telecommute. Organizations need to be crystal clear with their employees regarding telecommuting in the wake of COVID-19. For employees that need to telecommute due to possible exposure, organizations should reach out, clarify the need to telecommute and the length of time it is necessary, and offer resources to help with this arrangement. Additionally, many organizations are offering the option to telecommute to avoid exposure – again, it is important to communicate the length of time (if any) this option can be used and resources/support available.
  2. Best Practices for Telecommuters. It is not enough to simply inform employees that they can or must telecommute. It is important to provide employees with guidelines on ways to telecommute effectively. For example, employees need to communicate well with team members regarding deadlines, project updates and availability; communication is especially important in this situation as workers are more isolated and may have more personal conflicts than usual (i.e. children home from school). As another example, organizations should clarify the difference between working remotely and taking a sick day.
  3. Best Practices for Supervisors. It is equally important to provide supervisors with best practices and guidelines for managing remote workers and teams. Supervisors will need to remain patient and be mindful that employees are dealing with many unusual challenges at this time. Supervisors should clearly communicate expectations with those working remotely (i.e. specify when they should join meetings via phone vs. video), foster communication (i.e. virtual meetings/check-ins), and provide regular feedback.
  4. Communicate Support/Resources. Organizations should carefully think through available resources/support for telecommuting employees. This is particularly important now, when there may be employees who are not used to telecommuting regularly and a larger volume than usual who may be working remotely. Human Resources, Talent Development and D&I Professionals should convene and discuss available resources, including organization-wide support that can be leveraged from an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and membership organizations.
  5. Consider Providing Additional Resources. As employees who need to telecommute now may face different challenges, organizations need to think through ways to help them. Work with your IT Department to understand what additional technology might be necessary. Does your organization have enough bandwidth to support a large volume of telecommuters? Does your organization have an application for virtual meetings? Do you want to consider providing technology allowances to make sure employees have the necessary resources to be as productive as possible? In addition, it is important to think through childcare/eldercare support. Some employees may face school closures and need childcare. Have you communicated any childcare resources and/or dependent care policy to employees? Have you considered providing a paid subscription for childcare/eldercare sourcing platforms (i.e. Care.com, Sittercity.com, UrbanSitter.com, etc.)? Would your organization provide a special childcare/eldercare allowance to help defray costs?
  6. Check-In to Understand Experiences. A member from the human resources or talent management team should check-in with employees to understand their telecommuting experience, including what’s working well and what needs to improve. This way, organizations can resolve any issues as quickly as possible, and gather success stories. For employees who are mandated to work remotely due to possible exposure to COVID-19, it is particularly important to check-in as they may already feel isolated.

The Diversity and 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.

 

Contact: Manar Morales

manar@dfalliance.com

202-957-9650

Progressive Parental Leave and Flexible Work Programs Becoming a Major Industry Priority

Washington, DC – February 26, 2020 – The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance announced today that the results of its 2019 Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Study show that the industry is making measurable improvements to the quality and breadth of its parental leave and flexible work policies.

This study consisted of one-on-one interviews with leaders and talent professionals from 50 major law firms and serves to provide multilayered trends, insights and data about successes and challenges with parental leave and flexible work programs and practices. The goal of the initiative is to examine the availability and accessibility of holistic flexible work and parental leave policies, in particular, the types of policies, the features of these policies, and the support/resources around these policies.

The study found that virtually all firms interviewed have continued to offer formal gender-neutral leave and flexibility to attorneys, and many also offer on-ramping (gradual return-to-work) programs to attorneys returning from parental leave. Additionally, a significant number of firms are demonstrating a strong commitment to these policies by removing caregiver designations, increasing the amount of paid leave time generally, and offering fully-paid on-ramping.

However, the study also found that more firms need to provide better support structures around flexible work programs in order to promote better usage, true acceptance and accessibility for all. More firms should focus on offering education around flexible work, flexible work affinity groups, true-up policies to compensate reduced hours lawyers who work more than their agreed upon schedule, and more comprehensive and consistent monitoring mechanisms. Additionally, the study revealed that there is a substantial, qualitative gap between staff and attorney parental leave and flexible work programs.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the majority of firms are beginning to understand that by making minor adjustments to their leave and flexible working policies they can reap major benefits and meet the needs of a new generation,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “We are encouraged that many firms are committing to more progressive parental leave initiatives, however, we hope more firms will commit to building more robust and inclusive policies for all attorneys and staff,” she added. “These relatively inexpensive tools can mean the difference between retaining and loosing a valuable employee at a pivotal time in their lives,” she added.

The report is available to members of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance (in the Member Resource Center), as well as other participating firms. Detailed results and analysis will be presented during the Alliance’s Flex Launch! NYC – A Boot Camp for Flex Advisors – on Thursday, March 12 (open to non-members). To access this report, contact Manar Morales for more information on Membership.

The Diversity and 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.

Contact: Manar Morales

manar@dfalliance.com

202-957-9650

2019 New Partner Report Released

Washington, DC – November 8, 2019 – Yesterday, during the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance’s Annual Conference, fifty-one law firms were recognized for having 50% or more women in their 2019 U.S.-based new partner class. The firms, recognized as “Tipping the Scales,” were identified through the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s New Partner Report, a compilation of public data and self-reported sources released each year for the past eight years. The Report revealed that 41.3 percent of new partners in 138 major U.S. law firms in 2019 were women, surpassing last year’s mark by 2.4 percentage points. The Executive Summary is publicly available here.

PHOTO: Representatives from major law firms pose with Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, after receiving their “Tipping the Scales” Recognition at the Alliance’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, DC on November 7, 2019. Photo Credit: Birch Thomas (photosbybirch.com).

The “Tipping the Scales” firms recognized for having 50% or more women in their 2019 new partner class included:

1.     Akerman

2.     Alston & Bird

3.     Arent Fox

4.     Arnold & Porter

5.     Ballard Spahr

6.     Boies Schiller Flexner

7.     Bracewell

8.     Cahill Gordon & Reindel

9.     Cravath, Swaine & Moore

10. Crowell & Moring

11. Davis Polk & Wardwell

12. Davis Wright Tremaine

13. Debevoise & Plimpton

14. Dentons

15. Dickinson Wright

16. Drinker Biddle & Reath

17. Duane Morris

18. Epstein Becker & Green

 

19. Eversheds Sutherland

20. Fenwick & West

21. Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy

22. Gibbons

23. Goodwin Procter

24. Goldberg Kohn

25. Hogan Lovells

26. Jackson Lewis

27. Jones Day

28. K&L Gates

29. Lathrop Gage

30. Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith

31. Littler Mendelson

32. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

33. McGuireWoods

34. Miles & Stockbridge

35. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

 

36. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

37. O’Melveny & Myers

38. Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein

39. Perkins Coie

40. Polsinelli

41. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

42. Schiff Hardin

43. Seyfarth Shaw

44. Shook, Hardy & Bacon

45. Shutts & Bowen

46. Thompson & Knight

47. Van Ness Feldman

48. White & Case

49. Williams & Connolly

50. Wolf Greenfield

51. Womble Bond Dickinson

 

The 2019 New Partner Report also found that the percentage of women promoted to partnership in major U.S. law firms has increased by 8.1 percent since 2012. Additionally, a larger share of firms have attained a 50/50 split or greater of women in the new partner class than in previous years. The fifty-one firms with 50% or more women in their 2019 new partner class represented 37% of the firms in the study. This is an increase from the 2018 figure of 31.3% and also represents a significant increase over previous years.

“We are encouraged to see the overall increase in the percentage of women in new partner classes in 2019 and are thrilled to recognize those firms that are “Tipping the Scales,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “Despite this progress, we continue to recognize the need for firms to commit to a more intentional and proactive strategy to retain and advance women.”

The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s New Partner Report is a yearly compilation of data from more than 100 (138 this year) of the nation’s largest and top-grossing law firms examining the gender breakdown of attorneys promoted to partnership in their U.S. offices. The data is based upon publicly available firm announcements and other self-reported sources on new partner classes with an effective date of promotion between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019.

The Diversity and 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.

 

Contact Manar Morales at 202-957-9650 or manar@dfalliance.com for more information.

AARP’s Jo Ann Jenkins to Receive Diversity Luminary Award

Washington, DC – October 1, 2019 – The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance will hold its Annual Conference, Inspire. Innovate. Ignite! on Thursday, November 7 in Washington, DC. This interactive, one-day event is widely known as one of the DC area’s largest gatherings of prominent leaders committed to improving diversity and inclusion, as well as workplace flexibility and leave policies. Registration is open to non-members and more information is available here.

“Our conference is designed to provide executives with everything they need to incorporate diversity and flexible working programs into their organizational culture,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “Attendees will be inspired by our impressive line-up of speakers and diversity visionaries, they’ll hear about the latest trends in flexible working and leave policies, and they’ll connect with a community of senior leaders passionate about diversity and inclusion efforts,” she added. “By attending our one-day conference, attendees will be equipped to transform their workplaces and meet the needs of the 2020 workforce.”

Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP will receive the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s inaugural Luminary Award which honors a global thought leader who is consistently and uniquely devoted to the advancement of diversity and who’s vision is leaving a lasting legacy of inclusivity for future leaders. Ms. Jenkins will also present this year’s keynote and will share her unique perspective on the value that diversity brings to the culture and success of her organization and the workplace in general.

 

“I’m honored to receive this award because it reflects my belief that great leaders will emerge from creating workplaces where diverse voices thrive and are provided the opportunity to be taken seriously from the outset,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO or AARP. “It is incumbent on all leaders in the organization to carve out those spaces and to build a pipeline that draws on talent representative of the world we live in. That’s why at AARP, we see diversity and inclusion as a business imperative. It’s not just a part of our business strategy, it is our business strategy,” she added.

This year’s newest agenda item, Meet the Influencers, highlights compelling 20-minute presentations featuring three exceptional visionaries – Texas Judge, the Honorable Tonya Parker, Lily Zheng, Co-Author of Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace, and Dia Simms, President, Combs Enterprises — who will share their unique perspectives on improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Leaders, General Counsel, Diversity Directors and Chairs from corporations like Mercedes-Benz, PwC, Deloitte, The Boston Consulting Group, and Capital One, along with countless prominent law firms, will share personal experiences and valuable insights into the evolution of their organizations’ diversity and flexible working initiatives. The Alliance will share the latest research and trends in diversity & inclusion and work flexibility as well as innovative leave policies.

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

  • The 2019 Flex Impact Award, which recognizes initiatives that are poised to have a significant impact on the culture of flexibility, will be presented to: global consulting financial services firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) and international law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. (See detailed press release here.)
  • The 2019 Flex Leader Award will be presented to Jennifer M. Flynn, Managing Vice President, Head of the Small Business Bank (SBB) Division at Capital One for her leadership role in helping to create an organizational culture that focuses on inclusivity, encouraging authenticity, investing in future leaders, embracing differences and promoting flexible working options. (See detailed press release here.)
  • The 2019 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 are Danielle Katzir, Partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, and her client Darren Drake of Stockbridge Real Estate Funds; and Stacy Bunck, Kansas City Office Managing Shareholder at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, and her client, the late Rafael Medina of McDonald’s Corporation. (See detailed press release here.)

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.

Contact Manar Morales at 202-957-9650 or manar@dfalliance.com for more information.

 

Award to be presented at Diversity & Flexibility Alliance Conference on November 7

Washington, DC – October 1, 2019 – The Diversity and Flexibility Alliance has announced that Jennifer M. Flynn, Managing Vice President, Head of the Small Business Bank (SBB) Division at Capital One, will receive its 2019 Flex Leader Award. The Flex Leader Award recognizes an executive who is moving his or her organization toward a more inclusive workplace through holistic flexibility. The Award will be presented on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at the Alliance’s annual conference Inspire. Innovate. Ignite! in Washington, DC. Registration is available here.

Ms. Flynn was selected for her leadership role in helping to create an organizational culture that focuses on inclusivity, encouraging authenticity, investing in future leaders, embracing differences and promoting flexible working options. As a parent, Ms. Flynn has not only benefitted from her own flexible working schedule, but she is also committed to helping countless other employees find more balance in their professional and personal lives. According to Working Mother’s Best Companies 2018 report, 60 percent of Capital One employees telecommute, and the company’s leaders and managers are trained to consider the work life and flexibility concerns of their associates. Additionally, Capital One is extremely supportive of women (who make up more than 50% of employees) and consistently earns a spot on the Working Mother 100 Best Companies list.

“When I met Jenn, I was struck by her dedication to ensuring that Capital One maintains its truly inclusive culture and that employees have access to a flexible schedule,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “She is passionate about supporting and mentoring her colleagues and by modeling the behaviors the company values, Jenn has been able to help build a culture where people feel engaged and empowered.”

“I believe that as leaders, it is our job to create and foster an inclusive and flexible work environment that allows us to attract, retain and develop talent, which, quite simply, results in a happier employee population and better work products,” said Ms. Flynn. “I am fortunate to work for a company that prioritizes its people. Capital One’s emphasis on humanity lays the foundation for building this kind of environment, allowing me to have an extremely rewarding career while holding my daughter as my top priority. Our business is better because of how we work and, as a result, so are our customers. I am incredibly honored to receive the Flex Leader Award and humbled to be surrounded by great leaders who promote a flexible and inclusive work environment and an organization with that same mission.”

Prior to becoming the Business Leader for Capital One’s Small Business Bank Division in June 2018, Ms. Flynn spent 18 months as the Chief Financial Officer for Capital One’s International and Small Business Division. She joined Capital One in 2015 as the Chief Financial Officer for Capital One Healthcare, which was acquired from GE Capital, and played a key leadership role in the integration. Her background also includes finance leadership positions at GE Capital and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Jenn is actively engaged on the Executive Steering Committee for Capital One’s Women’s Business Resource Group and has been named one of Working Mother magazine’s “Working Mothers of the Year.”

The Diversity and 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.

 

Contact Manar Morales at 202-957-9650 or manar@dfalliance.com for more information.

Awards to be presented at Diversity & Flexibility Alliance Conference on November 7

Washington, DC – October 1, 2019 — The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance announced today that its 2019 Flex Impact Award Honorees are global consulting and financial services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and international law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. The Flex Impact Award, which recognizes initiatives that demonstrate a significant impact on the culture of workplace flexibility, will be presented at the Alliance’s annual conference Inspire. Innovate. Ignite! on Thursday, November 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Registration information is available here.

“Both of these firms have taken the time to develop unique, comprehensive and innovative holistic flexibility initiatives that meet the needs of a diverse group of employees, thereby creating a truly inclusive culture,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “By recognizing the changing needs and desires of today’s diverse workers, these organizations are leading their industries in their commitment to supporting the health, wellbeing and satisfaction of their employees,” she added. “As a result both firms are reaping the many benefits of their well-designed and authentic flexible working programs such as an increase in retention, improved engagement and superior recruitment.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is being recognized for its comprehensive flexible working program Flexibility2 TM that allows employees to control when and where they work while ensuring excellent client service and maintaining the quality of their lives. This program offers a myriad of informal flexible working options within its Everyday Flexibility initiative, including Year Round Flex Days, Teaming Culture which advocates shared responsibilities, and Unprescribed Paid Leave for self and family care. Additionally, employees can take advantage of Formal Flexibility options such as reduced hours, flexible start and end times, formal telecommuting three or more days a week (PwC@Home), telecommuting one or two days a week (PwC Offsite), job sharing, compressed workweek, and sabbaticals. Furthermore, PwC has been able to weave flexibility into the culture of the firm, and not only are employees encouraged to work flexibly, but they are also praised when they do. Since it was launched in 2011, the program has led to better morale, increased productivity, improved overall satisfaction and higher retention rates.

“Having flexibility at work is a center piece of our culture at PwC and is available to everyone starting on their first day at the firm. Flexibility at PwC is not about working less, but it is about encouraging people to work differently, in a way that fits their personal lives,” said Anne Donovan, the U.S. People Experience Leader at PwC. “A culture of flexibility creates a happier and more productive workforce and is essential to recruiting and retaining the best talent. We’ve worked hard to instill this culture across the firm and are honored to be recognized with the Flex Impact Award.”

Morgan Lewis will be recognized for its Remote Working Program that allows Associates to spend up to two days each week working remotely. Since 2017, more than 350 Associates in the US and the UK have participated in this program that leverages technology and offers the opportunity to work where they are most comfortable while still ensuring high quality results for their clients. While this program is offered to all attorneys, it has been particularly beneficial to women lawyers, many of whom have become partners and advanced in their careers while having children. Additionally, the firm’s Ramp Up Program provides support, mentorship and networking opportunities for Associates returning to work after family leave and reduces the hours expectation by 25% for the first six months with no reduction in base pay or bonus. Morgan Lewis has also developed ML Well, a comprehensive program and online portal of resources for all lawyers and professional staff designed to support work life balance, increase engagement and help employees manage the demands of their personal and professional lives.

“Now more than ever, we recognize that embracing a flexible workplace culture enhances the well-being of everyone at Morgan Lewis,” said Firm Chair Jami McKeon. “We were proud to be among the first law firms to launch forward-looking flex initiatives such as our Ramp Up and Remote Working programs. We have now dedicated full-time resources to advancing these and other innovative programs—like ML Well—to ensure that the thread of well-being and work/life balance is purposefully and earnestly woven into the fabric of who we are. We are truly honored to be recognized by the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance for our dedication.”

The Diversity and 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.

Contact Manar Morales at 202-957-9650 or manar@dfalliance.com for more information.

2019 Flex Success® Awards to Be Presented November 7

Washington, DC – October 1, 2019 – Today the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance announced that its 2019 Flex Success® Award honorees will be Danielle Katzir, Partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, and her client Darren Drake of Stockbridge Real Estate Funds; and Stacy Bunck, Kansas City Office Managing Shareholder at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, and her client, Rafael Medina of McDonald’s Corporation. Sadly Mr. Medina, who was Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment at McDonald’s, passed away unexpectedly after being selected as an Award Honoree.

The Flex Success Award recognizes partners or shareholders at Diversity & Flexibility Alliance member law firms who have achieved success while working a reduced hours schedule as well as a client who has been integral to making workplace flexibility so successful. The Awards will be presented on November 7, 2019 at the Alliance’s annual conference, Inspire. Innovate. Ignite! in Washington, DC. Registration is available here.

“Both of these amazing women have advanced to leadership positions within their firms while working reduced hours schedules,” said Manar Morales, President and CEO of the Alliance. “By focusing on the quality of their work, rather than the hours worked, they have been able to maintain excellent client service without sacrificing their personal lives and families. Clearly their supportive clients have been critical to their personal success and career longevity. Hopefully these women will serve as inspiration to other professionals striving for personal fulfillment and professional success,” she added.

Danielle Katzir, a Partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, has worked a 75-85% annualized schedule since 2010, allowing her to take shorter days and weeks in between busier periods. In recent years, Danielle has worked on corporate and tax transactions and is now recognized as a national expert on EB-5 Visa matters. Her Pro Bono work has included representing an Afghan family in the wake of the recent travel ban. Danielle is a member of her firm’s Professional Development Committee and Diversity Committee, and is deeply committed to mentoring young attorneys and maintaining an inclusive organizational culture.

“I’ve been able to work on the same types of transactions and matters for the same base of sophisticated clients that I did before going part time, maintaining and honing my diverse skill set, but simply at a more manageable volume,” said Katzir. “Darren completely understands the balance I am trying to strike between my family, personal life and career,” she added referring to her client, Darren Drake. “He knows that the work will get done, and that it will be high quality, no matter what,” she added.

“The firm, and I, could not be more proud of Danielle for being honored with the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s Flex Success Award,” said Jesse Sharf, Partner in Charge of Gibson Dunn’s Real Estate Practice and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. “I was beyond thrilled when Danielle – with whom I have worked since she was a summer associate – was elevated to partner on a flexible schedule.”

“Danielle is a true Partner, one who works side by side with her colleagues and her clients to provide the best possible legal advice and client service, growing our practice while also growing a family and leading a rich personal life,” Mr. Sharf added. “I cannot help but smile when I see Danielle go about her professional and personal life, and I look forward to working with her—and continuing to hear about, and observe, the exploits of her children, spouse, mother, siblings and cousins—over the years to come.”

Stacy Bunck, Kansas City Office Managing Shareholder at Ogletree Deakins, began a reduced hours schedule in 2010 after returning from a six-month parental leave. After working a 60% schedule for seven years while her children were young, she increased her hours target to 75%. In January 2014, Ms. Bunck was elevated to Shareholder and in 2018, she became the Office Managing Shareholder for Ogletree’s Kansas City office. She is the first person in the history of Ogletree to ascend to Office Managing Shareholder while on a reduced hours arrangement, an arrangement she has continued to maintain in her Office Managing Shareholder role. In addition to performing her leadership role, Ms. Bunck has co-chaired four jury trials while working a reduced hours schedule. She has also participated in the 2019 Ogletree Deakins Leadership Challenge Program and serves as a role model and mentor for other attorneys pursuing reduced hours schedules.

“Ogletree Deakins has supported my quest for work-life balance for the last decade. By permitting me to take a combined 12 months of maternity leave, allowing me to work a reduced hours schedule for the last decade, and elevating me to Office Managing Shareholder while on a reduced hours schedule, the firm has enabled me to raise my children while maintaining an active trial litigation practice,” said Stacy Bunck. “The late Rafael Medina, former Managing Counsel for McDonald’s, championed my reduced hours schedule, by insisting on scheduling around my days home with my children, and encouraging me to always put family first,” she added.

“Rafael would have been honored that Stacy nominated him for this award but would certainly add that he didn’t need any award for simply doing what was right,” said Danny Sikka, Senior Counsel, Global Labor & Employment Law at McDonald’s Corporation, referring to his colleague Rafael Medina. “Rafael raved to us about Stacy’s incredible work and how she exemplified that great client service did not have to come at the expense of family or other personal interests. He would also be grateful to the Alliance for this award, but also pass it back to thank the Alliance for its work in promoting diversity and flexibility.  He always preached “family first” and often quipped, “In ten years, you won’t remember the name of many matters you worked on, but you will remember going to or missing that recital, game or event,” he added.

“As this award demonstrates, flexible schedules allow the firm and our clients to fully benefit from the talents of all of our attorneys,” said Matt Keen, Ogletree’s Managing Shareholder. “Stacy has provided exceptional client service and leadership while meeting her other obligations through flexible scheduling. We are proud to partner with McDonald’s to support Stacy’s achievements,” he added.

The Diversity and Flexibility Alliance is a think tank that collaborates with organizations to develop non-stigmatized flexible work policies that promote inclusive work cultures for all 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.

Contact Manar Morales at 202-957-9650 or manar@dfalliance.com for more information.

Washington, DC – December 19, 2018 – Today, the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance released its seventh-annual New Partner Report, which revealed a slight increase in the percentage of women among new partners in 2018 in the U.S. Offices of the nation’s largest and top-grossing law firms. While the results showed a seven-year high of 38.9 percent, it was a mere 0.8 percent increase from last year. An Executive Summary of the report is available here. The complete report is available to Alliance members in the Member Resource Center.

“These results highlight the fact that while many recruiting classes of law school graduates may have 50% women, the percentages drop off dramatically as women advance to Partnership levels,“ said Manar Morales, President and CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “This underscores the need for firms to commit to a more intentional and proactive strategy to retain and advance women. It is essential that firms pay more attention to the diversity of the pipeline of talent at least three years in advance of the partnership track, as well as implement more programs to support the advancement of women along the way,” she added.

The Alliance specifically suggests that firms and other organizations:

– Identify and track gaps in gender diversity at all levels;

– Carefully consider ways to balance the pipeline of talent, at senior levels in particular;

– Implement policies and programs that support the retention and advancement of women;

– Commit to a more intentional strategy for gender diversity throughout the firm;

– Address any weaknesses in their flexibility and parental leave initiatives.

The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s New Partner Report is a yearly compilation of data from more than 100 (134 this year) of the nation’s largest and top-grossing law firms examining the gender breakdown of attorneys promoted to partnership in their U.S. offices. The data is based upon publicly available firm announcements and other self-reported sources on new partner classes with an effective date of promotion between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018. While these are the most favorable results in seven years, with an increase of almost six percentage points since 2012, the percentage of women among new partners in the U.S. has remained relatively stable.

Alliance member firms included in this report averaged 40.5 percent women in their new partner classes, outpacing the national average by over 1.5 percentage points. Alliance members have access to the entire New Partner Report, as well as opportunities for individualized strategic planning sessions focused on improving their gender diversity outcomes.

The Diversity and Flexibility Alliance is dedicated to helping organizations create inclusive cultures that support the advancement of women, promote diversity and embrace flexible work. The Alliance provides practical research-based solutions that increase organizational effectiveness and create high performance cultures while through diversity and flexibility.

 

Contact Manar Morales at manar@dfalliance.com for more information on the report or for guidance on how your firm can advance and retain more women.

Diversity & Flexibility Alliance to Present 2018 Flex Success® Award at Annual Conference September 27

Washington, DC – September 6, 2018 – The Diversity and Flexibility Alliance has announced that its 2018 Flex Success® Award Honorees will be Lori Mihalich-Levin, Partner at Dentons in Washington, DC, and her client Dr. Cindy Kelley, Vice President of Medical Education at Summa Health. The award recognizes partners at Diversity & Flexibility Alliance member law firms who have achieved success while working a reduced hours schedule as well as a client who has been integral to making workplace flexibility so successful. The Award will be presented on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at the Alliance’s annual conference, Diversity + Flexibility = Embracing Change, in Washington, DC. This conference was originally scheduled for March, but was postponed due to a snowstorm in DC. Conference registration is available here.

“Not only has Lori managed to reach high levels of career success while working a reduced hours schedule, but she is also truly passionate about helping to grow the pipeline of women leaders and supporting other working parents,” said Manar Morales, President and CEO of the Alliance. “With the support of her colleagues at Dentons and her clients, including Summa Health, Lori has grown her personal business and cared for her children while providing top-notch client service,” she added.

Ms. Mihalich-Levin has worked a 60% reduced hours schedule while representing hospitals, academic medical centers, medical schools and health systems as a Partner in Dentons’ Healthcare Practice since August 2015. In just two years, she was able to bring in 20 new clients to the firm and build a premier practice around legal issues related to graduate medical education. Her reduced hours schedule has allowed her to care for her two small children, while also building Mindful Return, LLC, a personal business that assists new parents in their transition back to work from parental leave, and writing a book Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave. She is also the Co-Chair of the firm’s Parent Professional Network, where she champions the success of diverse attorneys and has been instrumental in updating the firm’s parental leave policies.

“Ultimately the key to a successful flexible work arrangement is to be flexible and transparent,” explained Ms. Mihalich-Levin. “I am so thankful for the trust, support and encouragement that Cindy has offered me as well as her willingness to accommodate my schedule,” she added referring to her client, Dr. Cindy Kelley, Vice President of Medical Education, Summa Health.

“Lori and her Dentons team were critical to our success in overcoming significant challenges at our organization last year. I am so thankful for people like Lori who have a passion for finding that balance in life that allows them to pursue their careers while raising a family,“ stated Dr. Cindy Kelley. “Summa Health certainly benefited from this passion, as do all organizations that support workplace diversity and flexibility.”

“Dentons is committed to supporting our lawyers and professionals who work on a reduced hours or flexible schedule and applaud the effort of forward-thinking lawyers like Lori Mihalich-Levin,” said Mike McNamara, CEO of Dentons. “We also applaud our client Summa Health for embracing Lori’s flexible work arrangement. We firmly believe that flexibility results in positive changes that benefit the firm, the client, and our lawyers’ careers.”

The Diversity and Flexibility Alliance is a think tank that collaborates with organizations to develop non-stigmatized flexible work policies that promote inclusive work cultures for all 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