Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women
 
Phase III: Navigating the Corporate Matrix: Advancing Women in Corporate Law Departments
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Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women
Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women: Initiative 2.0: Creating a Path to Success in a Changing Economy (Phase IV)
This phase of the Initiative focused on the range of ways women can achieve success. The economic recession had a disparate impact on women lawyers. The challenges women face are compounded by the rapid transformations in the legal profession arising from the industry’s response to bearish economic conditions. 

Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women: Navigating the Corporate Matrix: Advancing Women in Corporate Law Departments (Phase III)
Announced in January 2010: The Navigating the Corporate Matrix program is the work of the WBA’s Task Force on Advancement and Retention of Women and In-House Counsel Committee, with advice and input from an Advisory Board of nationally recognized experts in the field and in-house counsel from a range of industries, who are committed to advancing women in-house counsel. This day-long summit will take place at American University Washington College of Law. Our goal is to have our community again place itself on the national map as forward-thinkers whose leaders have come together, listened to the experts present the latest objective research, shared best practices and frustrations, and undertaken a frank self-appraisal of how to move the ball forward in the continuing effort to improve retention of women attorneys and their advancement to the highest ranks of our profession.

Click here for more information on this phase of the initiative.
Click here to download a copy of Navigating the Corporate Matrix: Advancing Women in Corporate Law Departments

Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women: Creating Pathways to Success for All (Phase II)
Building on the success of its 2006 report, Creating Pathways to Success, the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia’s (WBA) Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women (Initiative) moved into its second phase with a focus on the dwindling number of women of color in law firms. In May 2008, the WBA issued its report, Creating Pathways to Success for All, detailing the findings of the WBA’s Diversity Summit (Summit), held on March 19, 2008, at historic Howard University Law School. The 2008 Report makes concrete recommendations for addressing the combined effects of gender and race that affect the success and advancement of our colleagues who are women attorneys of color.

The day-long Summit brought together more than 100 law-firm leaders, experts, lawyers, and law students to exchange ideas on issues affecting the recruitment, retention and promotion of women attorneys of color. The Summit challenged lawyers, law firms, law schools, and bar associations to lead the profession and the nation on inclusion through productive dialogue and discussion.

Creating Pathways to Success for All echoes many themes from the 2006 Initiative Report. These recurring themes underscore the need to implement changes that will stem attrition, foster inclusion, and help law firms and others to retain and promote women attorneys of color.

The 2008 Report not only surveys the literature and presents findings from our Summit and the work of our Diversity Committee, but also presents action-steps that all stakeholders with an interest in this issue – law-firm leaders, lawyers, clients, law schools, and bar associations – can do to address this issue and stem the attrition of women of color from our law firms.

Click here to download a copy of Creating Pathways to Success for All


Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women: Creating Pathways to Success (Phase I)

In 2006, the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (WBA) launched its groundbreaking Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women (Initiative). The Initiative focused on three questions:

  • What do DC firms and women lawyers perceive to be the stumbling blocks to their mutual success in moving more women farther faster?
  • What are DC firms doing already to keep and promote women?
  • And, can we use the answers to those two questions to discern new ideas and better ways to stem the departure of women from law practice?
Once a month, from January 6 through April 3, 2006, the WBA convened a four-hour conference on advancing women lawyers that drew firm leaders into a full and cooperative exchange with the experts and the women who attended. The results of this series of conferences are reported in Creating Pathways to Success (2006).

The 2006 Report answers the three questions posed at the outset of the Initiative. A hard look at the perceived challenges led to the finding that women leave when their capabilities are not valued, or their contributions are not acknowledged or recognized. A discussion of the current strategies in place at law firms revealed that the core of the problem is the need to help all women, including part-time lawyers, from day one, to begin their development into senior partners and rainmakers. The third question, are there better ways to stem early attrition among women lawyers, is answered in the WBA Roadmap, a series of pragmatic solutions for developing and advancing successful women.

Click here to download a copy of Creating Pathways to Sucess.

 
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