Awards to be presented at conference on September 27
Washington, DC – September 6, 2018 – The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance has announced that its 2018 Flex Impact Awards will be presented to tech industry giant Dell, and international law firms, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and White & Case LLP.
The awards, which recognize initiatives that are poised to have a significant impact on the culture of workplace flexibility, will be presented at the Alliance’s annual conference Diversity + Flexibility = Embracing Change on Thursday, September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. This conference was originally scheduled for March, but was postponed due to a snowstorm in DC. Registration information is available here.
“Dell, Fried Frank and White & Case stood out to us this year because of their willingness to take risks, invest in their employees and lead their industries by embracing more progressive approaches to flexible work and leave policies,” stated Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “Each of these organizations took their commitment to flexibility to new heights by expanding their initiatives to better meet the needs of a new generation of employees, while also positively impacting inclusion, recruitment and retention of top talent,” she explained.
Dell will be honored for its worldwide flexible work initiative, Connected Workplace, that encourages all eligible employees to choose where and when they work. Dell’s Executive Leadership team has led the initiative by working remotely themselves and emphasizing flexibility as a key component of the company’s culture and integral part of its business strategy. The company provides employees with the technology needed for team collaboration, flexibility training and an employee resource group, called Conexus, that helps remote team members connect to share best practices, network and develop camaraderie. Through Connected Workplace, Dell has been able to increase employee engagement and retention, conserve natural resources and energy, cut back on real estate expenses and reduce transportation pollution.
“Embracing and promoting a work flexibility culture just makes sense,” said Mohammed Chahdi, director of Global Human Resources at Dell, who leads Dell’s flexible work program (Connected Workplace). “At its core, this kind of culture is about enabling team members with the right environment and tools to collaborate and deliver their best work, regardless of where, when and how that work occurs.”
Fried Frank will be honored for its full-pay, “on-ramping” policy, which allows employees returning from parental leave to gradually return to full-time over a six-month period. Caregivers are thereby allowed to slowly ease their way back into work after leave by working a 75 percent schedule while receiving full compensation. By committing to a relatively small financial investment in its employees who are new parents, Fried Frank has been able to retain employees who might otherwise have been overwhelmed with the stress of full-time work and parenthood.
“The happiness and success of our attorneys is a top priority at Fried Frank and we recognize that parenthood is a big change,” said David Greenwald, Chairman of Fried Frank. “Our policy aims to alleviate the challenges faced by new parents as they transition back to work, striking the balance between professional success and personal fulfillment. For us, this was a common sense policy change consistent with our commitment to inclusion and retention. We are honored to receive this recognition by the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance,” he added.
White & Case will be honored for its new gender-neutral parental leave policy that eliminates the primary and secondary caregiver designation and is also offered to both attorneys and staff. The firm’s policy allows all parents to take 12 weeks of leave any time within 12 months following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. By extending the same benefits to attorneys and staff members, no matter the level or position, White & Case has been able to foster a more inclusive environment and demonstrate its commitment to supporting all of its employees.
“We try to foster an environment of inclusion and support at the firm, and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to spend significant time with their new child is one way that we can do that,” said David Koschik, member of the firm’s Executive Committee. “Everyone at the firm works very hard and deserves time with their families and loved ones. While it’s a departure from how many professional services firms do business, we are committed to the idea that every person at every level at White & Case be able to participate in a program like this one.”
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.
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