What Men Need to Know About Women's Initiatives...That It's the Right Thing to Do

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Earlier this summer, the ARK Group/Managing Partner hosted its fourth annual conference "At the Forefront of Diversity – Women Legal 2011." This seminar emphasized the importance of advancing the dialogue between law firms and their clients on the topic of gender diversity. Attorneys, general counsel and executives from all over the country, including two representatives from Sedgwick, gathered in New York City for this conference.

Sedgwick Orange County partner Thomas Delaney, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP partner Gregory Swinehart and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey general counsel Linda Willett participated in the panel discussion "What Men Need to Know about Women's Initiatives – and Why? How to Engage Men as Partners in Developing Women Talent," moderated by Sedgwick Chief Marketing Officer Kathleen Flynn. Throughout the discussion, panelists discussed the business case for creating and building a women's initiative in a professional services firm. Discussion topics included: retention and succession for women, leadership cultivation, the impact of gender-diversity initiatives on corporate law departments, leveraging the value of women affinity groups, initiating the conversation about gender diversity with your clients, the future of women in leadership and the ways in which men can support and be involved in women's initiatives.

Building upon the Future ...It's the Right Thing to Do

Although we are far from the days of the signing of the 19th Amendment, women continue to strive for equal opportunities in the legal profession. A women's initiative provides a forum for women to openly discuss issues and the challenges they collectively and individually face. The approaches traditionally used to succeed in business development and leadership, do not always resonate with women and their preferred methods for cultivating client relationships. By providing women attorneys the training and opportunities to build solid client relationships, firms and corporations are securing their futures, and building strong foundations for leadership.

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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.

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