In an interview for Working Mother, labor and employment associate Sylvia Bokyung St. Clair and finance and restructuring associate Veronica Mason spoke to chief operating officer Jane Koehl, chief diversity officer Maria L. H. Lewis and business litigation partner and board member Sandra Grannum about Faegre Drinker’s commitment to gender equity and equality, as well as the career advancement of its women professionals.
In response to the question, “How does Faegre Drinker ensure women’s advancement?” Grannum said the firm “values women, and it is evidenced by the number of women in strategic roles at the firm.” Koehl added, “Faegre Drinker has a history of excellent women leaders at all levels. We are proud that more than 50% of our board, executive leadership and C-Suite are women.”
Koehl also described how the firm’s executive leadership team consistently discusses strategy, hiring and leadership succession, including gender and racial diversity. Koehl and Lewis discussed Faegre Drinker’s professional development programs, career counseling and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Regarding how the firm worked to retain women through the difficulties of the last year, the leaders emphasized the importance of policies and programs that offer flexibility and autonomy, especially during the pandemic. Lewis said, “We know this pandemic has hit women in different ways. We keep our lines of communication open and have individualized conversations about work arrangements.”
In conclusion, Koehl stated that Faegre Drinker “is a place where women who want to be in the legal field can have a family, become a partner and become a mentor.”