Programs & Events


This week we were grateful to have Ritu Bhasin of bhasin consulting inc. lead our first of three 2017 Leadership Symposium. Ritu is a globally-recognized expert on leadership and inclusion and is passionate about sharing her knowledge of “Authentic Leadership.”

Ritu’s explanations for why we behave in certain ways and how we can improve our relationships just by being more authentic to our true selves are eye-opening. She shares that authenticity is the foundation on which we build inclusion and therefore is essential to our success as individuals and as leaders. Here are some highlights from Ritu’s presentation for those of you who missed it.

Ritu’s “Authenticity Principle” focuses on the importance of Knowing Yourself, Embracing Yourself and Being Yourself. All three of these are key to success in your personal life, as well as your professional life, and help you to:

– Feel better about yourself;

– Find clarity, meaning and purpose in how you live, work and lead;

– Bring a spirit of authenticity to your interactions;

– Invite others to practice authenticity;

– Build more meaningful relationships;

– Help to create more empowered, engaged, innovative and inclusive organizations.

Ritu described “The Three Selves” or the three different ways we present ourselves:

The Authentic Self – how you would show up if there were no negative consequences for your actions.

The Adapted Self – how you show up when you willingly choose to alter your behavior from how your Authentic Self would act, to meet your needs and others’ needs.

The Performing Self – how you show up when you feel you don’t have a choice but to conform and mask who you are.

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If you’re an attorney (or even a law student), you know that it’s not enough to just be good at your job. In 2017, you’re expected to go the extra mile and bring in new business, take on leadership roles in your firm, network with your peers, and join professional organizations. How can you manage all of these demands and embrace them as opportunities to advance your career and achieve fulfillment? Have you become overwhelmed and is your enthusiasm for your career fading?

Join us for our Signature Seminar Series and you’ll hear from Lauren Stiller Rikleen, author of Ladder Down: Success Strategies for Lawyers From Women Who Will be Hiring, Reviewing, and Promoting You. Lauren’s webinar will take place from 1:00 – 2:15 pm ET on Thursday, June 8 and is free to all Alliance Members.

Here are five reasons you should join us and learn how to approach your law career with enthusiasm:

    1. Learn how to create a “niche” practice by developing your own personal brand.
    2. Acquire leadership skills that will differentiate you from others.
    3. Gain insights into effective networking.
    4. Develop successful mentor and champion relationships
    5. Hear tips on advocating for yourself and finding better work-life balance.

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On March 16, 2017 we welcomed more than 150 professionals to our Annual Conference. Our guests included 44 Partners, five Chairs, 12 General Counsel, 19 Associates, 34 Directors, five Of Counsel, 12 Presidents or Principals, eight Vice Presidents, 16 Managers, and one Global Chairman.

Our attendees came from financial services firms, professional services firms, law schools and graduate schools, law firms, and corporations. They represented human resources, diversity and inclusion, recruitment, advancement, operations, client services and management, and all were committed to learning how to advance diversity and flexibility in their organization.

For eight hours we learned from three insightful panels including chairs and leaders from myriad firms and corporations. We were honored to hear one very impactful keynote from a global leader. We presented seven awards to those leading the way in flexibility and we were treated to an eye-opening collaborative session on deconstructing minimization. (More importantly, we served 150 delicious Georgetown Cupcakes!) From our perspective, it was a successful day.

As an organization, we at the Alliance love metrics. Numbers and data like this help us to track progress and evaluate our impact. We consistently advise our members to keep such data to help track progress towards goals. However, since our conference was entitled Diversity + Flexibility = An Evolving Culture, the true test of our success and the success of our members will be the impact on the evolution of organizational culture. Will our attendees be able to take what they learned back to their organizations and encourage a shift in attitude and a greater acceptance of diversity and flexibility?

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As we count down the days to our annual conference on Thursday, we’re excited to hear from so many impressive leaders about their roles in diversity and flexibility in their organizations. The conference is intentionally designed to provide attendees with a forum to learn from others, share best practices, and ask questions of and interact with presenters. While our morning panel will provide a corporate perspective, our 2:00pm panel is devoted to the law firm point of view. We’ll hear from four highly-effective and knowledgeable law firm Chairs who will share their insights on how they are leading their firms in diversity and flexibility.

Yvette McGee Brown, Partner-in-Charge of Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement at Jones Day (our hosts for the day) will be moderating the panel and will ask a multitude of questions ranging from, “How are you holding partners accountable for their commitment to diversity?” to “How are you engaging clients and how are clients driving the change at your firm?” The Chairs might also be asked, “What systems are in place to maintain your diversity and flexibility initiatives?” Or “How has flexibility impacted your ability to recruit and retain top talent?”

The panel includes Matt Keen, Managing Shareholder, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.; Kim Koopersmith, Chairperson, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Jami Wintz McKeon, Chair, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; and Terry Pritchard, Chair, Bryan Cave LLP. This impressive group is ready to answer your questions and help you create a more inclusive culture. We encourage you to bring your questions!

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Note: This post was first published on March 7, 2017 on 1 Million For Work Flexibility’s blog. 1MFWF is the first national initiative bringing people together to create a collective voice in support of work flexibility, and the Alliance is a supporting organization. Thank you to 1MFWF for allowing us to share our news about our 2017 Flex Awards!

We at the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance are optimistic about the gradual cultural change towards embracing flexibility taking place in many U.S. corporations and firms. Each year at our annual conference we celebrate individual and organizational successes that truly demonstrate how flexibility can positively influence the way we work and live without impacting career development and financial success.

This year’s conference is entitled Diversity + Flexibility = An Evolving Culture, and we hope our attendees will leave inspired about the future of flex. We have structured the conference to arm attendees with concrete tips on how to better weave flexibility into their organization’s culture and, in so doing, foster a more diverse and inclusive team. Please join us on March 16 in Washington, DC.

This year we’re presenting three awards to individuals and organizations leading the way in this flex revolution…

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We hope you’ll be joining us next Thursday, March 16, for our annual conference, Diversity + Flexibility = An Evolving Culture, at Jones Day in Washington, DC. Please register now if you haven’t already! We know you’ll be impressed by the wealth of knowledge, experience, and expertise presented by executives representing a myriad of industries.

In particular, our 10:30am session, Corporate America Making Cultural Change, promises to be an extraordinary presentation by senior executives from Booz Allen Hamilton, Morgan Stanley, Verizon, and Wal-Mart. The panelists will provide their personal perspectives on the change in American business towards a more inclusive and diverse culture. They’ll highlight the challenges, as well as the opportunities, they see day to day in their offices. They’ll also explain how they as leaders are helping to influence change within their companies and with their suppliers and professional services firms.

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Our 2017 Annual Conference on March 16 is titled “Diversity + Flexibility = An Evolving Culture.” This cultural evolution would not be occurring without industry leaders who are committed to creating inclusive workplace
cultures and diverse teams. These leaders understand that in 2017 the only way to recruit and retain top talent and to thrive as a business is to embrace diversity and inclusion. They aren’t simply creating policies and hoping they stick, they’re weaving diversity and inclusion into the fabric of their organizations. They’re creating unbiased cultures where their employees, clients, and businesses are thriving. We are proud to have one oJohn Veihmeyerf these trailblazers as our keynote speaker on March 16, John Veihmeyer, Global Chairman of KPMG.

At the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, we advise our members that the key to successful cultural change is authentic support and communication from the top of any organization. With Mr. Veihmeyer’s unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion, it’s clear that he has driven the cultural evolution at KPMG. In his 35 years in the business, Mr. Veihmeyer has not only built a reputation as an influential voice on business and financial issues, but he has been recognized countless times for his genuine dedication to philanthropy, diversity, and inclusion. With diversity and inclusion at the core of the KPMG culture, he has created a high-performing work environment where employees are dedicated, successful, and fulfilled.

We are honored to have Mr. Veihmeyer as our keynote and we hope you’ll join us on March 16 to hear how this inspirational, influential, and deeply committed leader has successfully steered the culture of his firm.

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Most well-intentioned firms and corporations understand the value in hiring a diverse team and believe that their recruitment process is transparent and impartial. With the premise of equal opportunity, you hire the candidates who are the most intelligent, most successful, and most hard-working.

The featured speaker at our 2017 Annual Conference on March 16 might disagree. Kellogg School of Management Professor Lauren Rivera spent years going inside the recruiting process at top investment banks, law firms, and consulting firms. She conducted countless interviews and observed hiring practices first-hand. Her book, “Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs” provides an insider’s view of how some firms hire for their most elite entry-level positions. She found that in many cases it is the affluent applicants from the elite schools who are receiving the top-paying offers at leading firms.

Lauren’s insights could help firms and corporations improve their recruiting processes and hire a more successful and diverse team. Her intriguing research into unconscious class, gender, cultural, and racial bias is truly eye opening and will inspire you to look at your organization’s recruiting process with a different lens.

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If you’re a manager, you know that it’s not always easy to successfully manage your team and cultivate effective time management skills. It’s often challenging to establish a strong foundation to motivate your team to deliver top-quality work. According to Paul Burton, time management expert and Founder & Principal of QuietSpacing LLC, there are four key elements to successfully managing a team: Consideration, Collaboration, Communication and Coordination.

Join Paul at 3:00pm EST on Monday, September 19 as he leads our bi-monthly Signature Seminar entitled “Orchestrate: Four Productivity Skills Every Manager Needs.” Paul’s webinar is open to all Alliance members and will provide immediate, actionable tips for mid-level managers on how to:

– Find the correlation between goals and how things get done;

– Effectively connect and engage those with whom you work;

– Diplomatically manage up and manage down; and

– Navigate the important landscape of middle management. Read more

Flexibility: A Simple But Essential Recruitment Tool

Flexible work options are important to all of us, but when it comes to millennials, flex is essential. In today’s recruitment process, law firms need to understand the importance of having a flex policy and of showing new recruits that flexibility is part of the firm’s culture. Research clearly shows that flexibility is a key consideration when students and lawyers are choosing their firms (and when deciding to leave). Keeping up with the flexibility demands of this generation of law school graduates is an effective and inexpensive way to recruit the best students. Read more