Awards will be presented during the Annual Conference on Nov. 2 in DC

Washington, DC (October 5, 2023) — The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance announced today that it will present its 2023 Flex Impact Award to Capital One Small Business Bank and law firm, Chapman and Cutler LLP.  The Flex Impact Award, which recognizes initiatives that demonstrate a significant impact on the culture of workplace flexibility, will be presented during the Alliance’s annual conference on Thursday, November 2.  Registration information is available here.

“We selected Capital One Small Business Bank and Chapman and Cutler as our 2023 Flex Impact honorees because both organizations have intentionally created extremely effective new systems that support a thriving workplace and embrace flexibility,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “These unique initiatives have provided employees with autonomy, inclusivity and flexibility, while fostering increased engagement and productivity,” she added. 

Capital One Small Business Bank

Capital One Small Business Bank is being recognized for its highly effective hybrid working initiative that has successfully incorporated the changing needs of its team and optimized new technology to create a “best of both worlds” system.  Their hybrid model smoothly blends both time in their corporate offices for face-to-face collaboration and innovation, along with time for connecting with colleagues and working virtually, while consistently preserving their corporate culture. 

Recognizing the powerful new opportunities available for leveraging connections with associates around the country, the team conducted surveys and focus groups to gain employee feedback, created hybrid guidelines and team norms, and implemented new virtual connection tools. By using simple technology to designate their work location, for example, employees at Capital One Small Business Bank are now able to see who will be attending a meeting virtually and in-person, allowing the transparency for individuals to make the best decision for how they will participate.

“The team at Capital One Small Business Bank seems to have found the perfect sweet spot merging the benefits of in-person collaboration with the unique opportunities provided by virtual connections,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “Understanding that different individuals have different needs and preferences, the leadership at Capital One Small Business Bank has provided their colleagues with the training and autonomy to work when and how they choose using the latest technology that works best for them.” 

“As a leader, I’ve seen firsthand how hybrid work can help foster inclusivity and collaboration. I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Capital One Small Business Bank and am fortunate to work for a company that prioritizes a culture of flexibility and connection,” said Jenn Flynn, Head of Small Business Bank at Capital One. “Our hybrid work model provides an opportunity for our team to match the work we’re doing with the environment that best supports that work leading to better outcomes for our associates and customers.”

Chapman and Cutler LLP

Law firm, Chapman and Cutler LLP, was selected for its well-designed and highly detailed Lateral Attorney Integration program implemented within their hybrid workplace. Recognizing that successful lateral integration was a key to the laterals’ success, the Talent Development and Diversity team embarked on a year-long process of overhauling their integration system to increase attorney retention, engagement, and productivity, regardless of whether they were working virtually or in-person. The team created a task force comprised of attorneys and business professionals and dedicated countless hours to meticulously researching firm and competitor data, developing goals and milestones, polling employees, and overhauling workflow systems, social structures, and virtual team management. 

The outcome was a revamped Lateral Attorney Integration Process that includes targeted pre-boarding and orientation programs, improved connections with mentors and sponsors, new on-boarding and workflow liaisons, increased touch points and follow-up, improved communication, technology training, and an electronic welcome binder. The team paid particular attention to the unique challenges and opportunities for integrating new attorneys who had been hired virtually during the pandemic or those who may continue to work a hybrid or flexible schedule now. 

“By investing so much time and effort into conducting research, creating a taskforce of those with differing viewpoints and acquiring buy-in from firm leadership, the team at Chapman and Cutler was able to create a highly effective new integration process that works regardless of the employee’s work schedule and location,” said Manar Morales. “Their initiative serves as a perfect example of the importance of being intentional, thoughtful and authentic when developing impactful policies in today’s hybrid workplace.” 

“It is important to our firm that all of our attorneys start their career at Chapman with a solid foundation.  When a lateral attorney joins our firm, we want them to know they are an integral part of the team right away and to provide them with challenging work, supportive team members, meaningful mentoring, and opportunities to exceed their professional goals while at Chapman,” said Kelley Bender, Chief Operating Partner at Chapman and Cutler LLP. “I appreciate our Task Force members and recognize the time and energy they invested into creating thoughtful, meaningful integration practices for our lateral attorneys.”  

For more than a decade, the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance has collaborated with organizations to develop inclusive flexible working cultures that cultivate diversity in leadership, drive workplace wellbeing, and foster a more humanized work experience. The Alliance provides practical research-based solutions, customizable training programs, strategic advisory services and a peer-learning network that increase organizational effectiveness through diversity and flexibility.


Contact: Manar Morales