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Costs of Inaction: The Business Case for the Hiring, Promotion, and Retention of Women Lawyers<br />Women in the Legal Profession<br />April 6, 2011<br />
What Is the Business Case?<br />Organizations should focus on promoting women lawyers because it will improve the bottom line.<br />
Business Case is Crucial<br />Economic climate is affecting women and the initiatives that will promote women lawyers.<br />It is an absolute necessity for women’s initiatives to support and be supported by the business case.<br />Building a strong business case is the most important step in gaining support and commitment for women’s programs.<br />
The Business Case and the Promotion of Women Lawyers Are Aligned<br />Promoting Women Lawyers<br />Workforce with best talent<br />Inclusive work environment<br />Positive reputation for organization<br />Client satisfaction <br />Business Case<br /><ul><li>Highest quality work
Ability to retain existing clients </li></li></ul><li>Reason No. 1: Increases Organizations’ Flexibility<br />Workforce and markets are changing rapidly. Diverse organizations better serve diverse clients.<br />New workers foster innovation.<br />“I think the real benefit of having women and diversity in a team is that you have a richer set of ideas. So. I truly believe that there is a direct relationship between team performance and having a diverse team with the best talents.”<br />VP Europe of leading global healthcare company<br />
Reason No. 2: Attracts & Retains Top Talent<br />Female workforce participation is on the rise.<br />In the U.S., women comprise more than 50% of law school graduates and new entrants into the legal workforce.<br />UNESCO statistics for Chile are similar.<br />Law firms cannot afford to ignore such a large talent pool.<br />
Reason No. 3: Reduces Costs<br />There are high costs associated with turnover, absenteeism, & low productivity. <br />For example:<br />Make it more difficult for senior attorneys – leading to higher costs.<br />Lawyers with institutional memory are incredibly valuable to clients.<br />
Reason No. 4: Increases Financial Performance<br />Law firm-specific research is rare.<br />But, law firms’ governing committees are similar to corporations’ boards of directors.<br />The research in that area is clear: decision-making on corporate boards suffers when there are less than 3 women on a board.<br />
More Women Board Members – Better Financial Performance<br />Companies with the highest representation of women board directors attain significantly higher financial performance, on average, than those with the lowest representation of women board directors.<br />Catalyst’s 2008 report - The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards.<br />
More Women Senior Managers – Higher Employee Satisfaction<br />Companies with 3 or more women in senior management functions score more highly on organizational criteria, which correlate to financial performance.<br />McKinsey & Company study of 101 large corporations in Europe, America, & Asia.<br />
More Women in Top Management – Better Financial Performance<br />Companies with highest level of gender diversity in top management posts have better financial performance.<br />McKinsey & Company study of European listed companies with stock market capitalization of over €150 million.<br />
Reason No. 5: Clients Demand it<br />Companies that take diversity seriously like to hire law firms that do too.<br />General Mills’ Call to Action<br />DuPont Women Lawyers’ Network<br />Many clients have women in power and expect the same of their law firms.<br />The number of Fortune 500 female GCs is at an all time high (94).<br />“[Y]ou don’t go to a board that’s got 40 percent women with an all-male team.”<br />General Counsel, Association of Corporate Counsel<br />
Judges Are Starting to Demand it, too.<br /><ul><li>Courts are becoming more diverse. Lawyers appearing in court should reflect this diversity.</li></ul>These judges want to see more women lawyers arguing before them.<br />Judges in NY have noticed and are vocal about seeing the statistics improve.<br />
Contact Information<br />Angela Rella<br />Morrison & Foerster LLP<br />Chair, New York City Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Committee<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />
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