WASHINGTON, DC, February 20, 2014 — Building on the momentum of the Flex Success™ Award, the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance (the “Alliance”) is awarding its inaugural Flex Leader Award to recognize a General Counsel or Chair of a law firm who is moving his or her organization toward a more inclusive workplace through flexibility. Research shows that when we hear the word “leader,” we picture a man. Although this bias slows the advancement of women, more women are leading institutions, corporations, and law firms today than ever before. This year’s honoree, Liz Sharrer, Chair of Holland & Hart LLP, is a pioneer that embodies every aspect of what the Award seeks to recognize and is shattering biases by advocating for the opportunities to work a reduced hours or a flex schedule while being a highly integrated member of a major law firm.
Ms. Sharrer started at Holland & Hart in 1980 and transitioned to a reduced hours schedule after she had her first child in 1991. She remained on a reduced hours or flex schedule up until January 2014 when she assumed the role of firm-wide Chair. Ms. Sharrer has been integral in the firm’s leadership and has taken on several roles that have not only contributed to her personal satisfaction and success, but to the firm’s success as well. She was the former head of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group, member of the Management Committee, and served as the first Administrative Partner of the firm’s Denver office. Holland & Hart has always viewed Ms. Sharrer’s reduced hours/flex schedule and accomplishments as a testament to her ability to be an empathetic champion for diversity, inclusion, and flexibility.
“I am honored to be receiving this inaugural award from the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, a recognition which would not be possible without Holland & Hart’s sincere and longstanding commitment to inclusion and to the development of leaders who may not fit the traditional law firm mold, as well as its respect for the values of diversity and flexibility,” says Ms. Sharrer.
Manar Morales, the Alliance’s President & CEO, says “Leadership from the top is a core component to a successful diversity program. The Flex Leader Award honors the leader of an Alliance member organization who best exemplifies and implements their commitment to diversity and flexibility in the legal profession. Liz is a clear choice to be our inaugural honoree for this award – neither she nor the firm have ever let her flex schedule slow her down. The fact she has been with the firm for over 30 years, and was elected to lead the firm for the next three years, shows that leadership and success doesn’t have to be confined within the traditional parameters of a career in the law. Work-life control is not only possible, but necessary, in order to foster and retain future leaders like Liz.”
Ms. Sharrer will be honored at the Alliance’s 2014 Annual Conference, Diversity + Flexibility = Sustainability, on March 18, 2014 at the Washington, DC office of Jones Day which features the most up-to-date action steps for diversity and flexibility and success strategies for improving retention of top legal talent. The Conference features general counsel, law firm chairs, legal talent professionals, and balanced hours attorneys who will share how they have implemented successful strategies in their organizations for retaining and promoting women and supporting work-life control for all lawyers.
The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance is a think tank dedicated to creating work environments centered on inclusion and innovative thought leadership. The Alliance provides practical solutions that increase organizational effectiveness and create high performance cultures leveraging diversity and flexibility.
More information about the Alliance can be found at dfalliance.com.
President & CEO