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Awards to be presented at Diversity & Flexibility Alliance Conference on November 5

Washington, DC – October 21, 2020 — The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance announced today that its 2020 Flex Impact Award Honorees are law firms, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Katten, Muchin Rosenman LLP. The Flex Impact Awards, which recognize initiatives that demonstrate a significant impact on the culture of workplace flexibility, will be presented during the Alliance’s virtual annual conference on Thursday, November 5, 2020. Registration information is available here.

Akin Gump

Akin Gump was selected because of its comprehensive flexible working initiative that is supported by an exceptionally strong and effective infrastructure. Akin Gump’s program is unique in that it includes a high level of accountability, technology, tracking, training, communication and support for employees. Last year, prior to the onset of COVID-19, the firm hired additional technology support staff and upgraded technology capabilities and equipment to better serve those working remotely and traveling. Firm chairperson Kim Koopersmith and Practice Group Managers across the firm routinely track flex usage and productivity, and flexibility is a permanent variable in the firm’s evaluation process. Additionally, since the onset of the pandemic, Ms. Koopersmith has sent regular firm-wide emails offering support and empathy for employees juggling working remotely with caregiving.

“At Akin Gump, we have long understood that being an inclusive firm means believing that we can provide seamless and exceptional service to our clients while respecting the need for flexibility in how our work is done,” said Ms. Koopersmith. “We have never been more appreciative of our longstanding commitment to flexibility and support for agile working arrangements than in these challenging times.  We long ago made sure that our employees were well-supported and had access to all of the tools needed to be productive both in and out of the office. That has been a huge advantage and one that has served us well. Not only has it proved successful in meeting our clients’ needs, but our most valuable contributors—our people—have felt the support of a firm that truly cares,” she added. “We are absolutely thrilled to be a recipient of the Flex Impact Award, and will use it to help sustain and further the culture of flexibility and inclusiveness that we’ve worked hard to instill throughout the firm.”

“We selected Akin Gump for its innovative and comprehensive flexible working initiative,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “Akin Gump prioritized programs and policies that established flexibility as a tenant of its firm culture. In doing so, the firm serves as an example of how a commitment to a flexible work environment, bolstered by firm-wide infrastructure and leadership buy-in, can lead to increased productivity, client satisfaction, employee retention, and firm morale,” she added.

Katten

Katten was selected for its four-week, paid sabbatical initiative that is offered to all Associates once they have completed their fifth year and met their hours’ requirement two out of the three previous years. This initiative, which has been in place since 2012, has allowed Associates to take a trip, dive into a personal project or extend a family leave. All Associates take advantage of this benefit and many plan for the time off long in advance. Katten has also reinforced its philosophy of flexibility by sharing consistent messaging from leadership, providing wellness information, offering parental coaching and caregiver support, and surveying to identify needs during COVID-19.

“The Associate Sabbatical Program reflects the supportive firm culture and flexible work environment we have developed at Katten. The program is one way we reward our Associates for their dedication, and it is a means of enhancing their work-life balance. By offering them the opportunity to temporarily step away from their daily work responsibilities, we give them a chance to recharge and come back to work re-energized,” said Katten Chief Executive Officer Noah S. Heller.

“We are very honored to receive the Flex Impact Award because it spotlights Katten’s deep commitment to providing policies, programs and resources that let our attorneys know they are valued, assist in their career progression, and ultimately empower them to reach their full potential. These offerings help us recruit and retain top talent and boost morale as well as the productivity and creativity of those serving the legal needs of our clients,” Heller said.

“Katten’s four-week Associate Sabbatical is a testament to the firm’s commitment to its people and their well being,” said Morales.  “We were impressed by the fact that all Associates offered the sabbatical take it, indicating that firm leadership truly supports the benefits of taking time off to reset. This people-first mentality, endorsed by Katten’s leadership, creates a work environment that is flexible, unbiased, creative and empowering.”

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

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.

 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.

For more information contact:

Manar Morales

manar@dfalliance.com

202-957-9650

Washington, DC – March 2, 2018 – The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance has announced that registration is open for its highly anticipated 2018 Annual Conference, Diversity + Flexibility = Embracing Change, to be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at the Washington, DC Offices of Jones Day. This interactive, one-day event delivers the latest trends, cutting-edge research and best practices in diversity and flexibility and attracts professionals from all industries. Registration and more information are available here.

The conference is widely known as one of the DC area’s largest gatherings of prominent leaders from around the world committed to strategically addressing the critical issues of Diversity and Flexibility.  Leaders, General Counsel and Chairs from financial giants like Deloitte and KPMG, tech industry icons like Dell, Intel and EverFi, as well as Politico, TV One and Lockheed Martin and countless prominent law firms will share personal experiences and valuable insights into the evolution of their organizations’ diversity and flexibility initiatives.

“Our conference provides a unique opportunity to hear expert insights and first-hand perspectives from top-level executives and those blazing the trail in the advancement of diversity and flexibility,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “In just one day, attendees acquire concrete strategies and critical information that enables them to implement real change in their organizations,” she added.

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

– The 2018 Flex Impact Award, which recognizes initiatives that are poised to have a significant impact on the culture of flexibility, will be presented to: Dell for its highly-successful flexible work initiative; law firm Fried Frank for its full-pay, on-ramping (return from leave) policy; and, law firm White & Case for its gender-neutral leave policy which is extended to both attorneys and staff. (Access detailed press release here.)

– The 2018 Flex Leader Award will be presented to Kim Koopersmith, chairperson of Akin Gump, for her unwavering support of and commitment to providing holistic flexible work options for all. (Access detailed press release here.)

– The 2018 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 will be Lori Mihalich-Levin, Partner, Dentons, and her client Dr. Cindy Kelley, Vice President, Medical Education, Summa Health. (Access detailed press release here.)

This year’s featured speaker, Vipula Gandhi, of Gallup Inc., will present eye-opening data and analysis on the State of the American Workplace including perspective on employee engagement, organizational culture, and performance management. Other highlights will include: the release of the results of the Alliance’s Annual Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Study; a case study presentation describing the development, implementation and management of KPMG’s highly successful women’s initiative; panel discussions emphasizing the role that clients play in encouraging diversity; and, presentations on leading best practices on flexibility and leave policies.

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.

For more information contact:

Manar Morales

manar@dfalliance.com

202-957-9650

 

Awards to be Presented at Conference on March 21

Washington, DC – March 2, 2018 – The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance announced today 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 March 21, 2018 in Washington, 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.

For more information contact:

Manar Morales

manar@dfalliance.com

202-957-9650