Andy Kassner, Drinker Biddle Chairman and CEO, and Lynne Anderson, partner and Women’s Leadership Committee co-chair, shared their insights on how to create a law firm environment where all women can succeed in an article published by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).
The article, titled “How to Be Intentional About Promoting Women,” highlighted the firm’s diversity milestone of women comprising half of the firm’s managing partners committee and the executive management team. It took five years of concerted top-to-bottom efforts by the firm’s leadership and WLC to help effectuate this change.
“This doesn’t happen organically,” Lynne said. “You really need to have a focus. Five years ago, we rebooted the WLC and began focusing on data-driven metrics that allow us to see where we have the most room for improvement.”
Andy said that reaching gender parity in the firm’s top governing bodies is a measure of ongoing success and not the final goal.
“The results of our election are a logical conclusion of the fact that women have been getting more management responsibilities and leadership roles in the firm. All the women elected were highly qualified and respected within the firm,” he said.
Andy and Lynne shared six tips for fostering an environment to set up women for success, which includes investing resources into business development initiatives and looking for opportunities to plug women associates and junior partners into key firm committees and other leadership roles. They also discussed various aspects of the firm’s “open-door culture” which benefits the development of all lawyers.
LCLD is an organization of more than 300 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who have dedicated themselves to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession. Drinker Biddle is a member of the organization.