Is Going to Women’s Initiatives Events Worth It?

by Law School Toolbox
Contact

Last week, I attended an event at Bryan Cave’s San Francisco Office as part of its Women’s Initiative Power shutterstock_137354831Project leadership training series. (I was the guest of a friend of mine who is one of the organizers at the firm.) I have gone to “Women’s Initiative” events hosted by other law firms, law schools, or bar associations and this presentation was one of the better I attended.

Two speakers were brought in to discuss “Your Personal Brand—Establish Yourself and Your Career as a Brand.” The speakers were not attorneys; instead they were corporate leadership coaches from Suite Track in Atlanta, Georgia. There were a few things I really liked about this event.

1. I thought that bringing in non-lawyers to lead the discussion was powerful.

Let’s be honest, we all need to work on our personal brand and sometimes lawyers are not the best at teaching other lawyers about this stuff! Bringing in outside professionals made the dialogue at this event a bit different from the dialogue at other similar events.

2. About one-third of the room were guests of the firm and some weren’t even attorneys.

The committee had gone out of its way to have Bryan Cave attorneys invite other businesswomen (attorneys or not) to the event. This changed the dynamic of the event since the attendees were not all firm lawyers or even lawyers at all. It turned the event into a networking occasion for attorneys and businesswomen alike. Great idea.

3. The chat had more of a coaching slant than just a typical lecture.

Often these lectures can feel a bit like someone telling you to just “figure out your brand—it is important.” Instead, the presenters actually came with exercises to facilitate the discussion and help each attendee work through issues around personal branding individually. These exercises were actual takeaways attendees could continue to work on outside the event.

4. Even when talking about something most women hate hearing about (how to dress at the office), some new points were brought up.

The presenters talked about your physical image at work and how that relates to your brand. Many folks are tired of this conversation, but an interesting point was raised. The presenters focused on when you decide to change your physical image, not just what that image is. They talked about studies on how men especially (sorry guys) are distracted and confused when a woman suddenly changes her physical appearance. If you do this before a big presentation or an important client meeting, this can turn into a distraction and actually detract from the important work you are doing. It was an interesting point that I am not sure I have heard before.

However, from personal experience, I know this is true. When I was 22, I accidentally dyed my hair a horrid shade of orange. Needless to say, prior to that day my hair was not orange. I went into work the following day and my boss after quite a long meeting with me commented that he felt like something was different but he couldn’t place it. He had literally been thinking about this during our meeting! Of course, to me it was obvious (yesterday my hair wasn’t orange, today it was) and clearly it had been a distraction. Something definitely to file away and consider when you decide to get a new haircut or totally change up your wardrobe!

5. The talk was more about finding the right brand for you rather than what your brand should be.

Oftentimes, these discussions focus more on what your brand should be instead of what brand is the right fit for you. Each of us is different, has different aspirations and career paths, and therefore will have a different personal brand. That doesn’t mean one person’s brand is better than another. It just means that you want to decide what your brand is and capitalize on it.

I appreciated the workshop and commend Bryan Cave for putting together what I found to be a thought-provoking and empowering program. I know there is a debate about whether or not Women’s Initiatives work in law firms, but I think programming like this can definitely be effective.

Have you attended a Women’s Initiative at your firm? Did you find it worthwhile and informative?

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Law School Toolbox | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Law School Toolbox
Contact
more
less

Law School Toolbox on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!