Management Committee Sponsor: Each affinity group has an appointed senior leader sponsor, who is not a member of that demographic group. The sponsors are charged with understanding key issues the group members’ face and advocating for necessary change. Michael Francies, managing partner of Weil’s London office and a partner in the Corporate group is the sponsor for Women@Weil.
Women Leaders: There are 59 women partners globally. Twenty-three percent of the Firm’s U.S. partners are women. Nine women serve as leaders of departments, offices, or practice groups, or are firmwide committee chairs or Management Committee members. The General Counsel and four Management Committee members are women.
New Women Partners: Forty-one percent of the U.S. partners (32% globally) promoted since 2007 are women.
By the numbers: Women represent 36% of European attorneys, 23% of Asian attorneys, and 42% of U.S. attorneys.
TOWER (Taskforce on Women’s Engagement & Retention): A committee of women and men partners are focused on the advancement and development of women attorneys globally.
Women@Weil: Since many of the challenges facing women in the workplace transcend borders, our women’s affinity group has a global outlook. There is a global Leadership Board that oversees Firmwide efforts, with office leaders spearheading local efforts.
In September 2016, Women@Weil in Frankfurt partnered with FidAR, a German organization focused on increasing the number of females in supervisory board and management board positions, to host a luncheon with key-note speaker Martina Klee, one of the few female supervisory board members of Deutsche Bank AG. She spoke with over 60 guests including female senior leaders from various organizations on the importance of supporting and engaging women in senior management and management board positions.
The Dallas office hosted a W@W Mixology 101 client event in April 2016 atop the reunion tower, Dallas’ most easily recognizable landmark. Clients and alumni learned how to create craft cocktails with mixologists from Shaken & Stirred while noshing on food by Wolfgang Puck and enjoying unparalleled views of the city. Last year, the Annual Client Event featured a wine & chocolate pairing class.
In March 2016, Weil held its inaugural female client and partner retreat in Napa, California. Women partners and clients participated in a variety of activities, professional development workshops, and networking sessions.
Recent W@W client events have been held at the Blues Jean Bar in Dallas, Eataly in New York, JPMorganChase Corporate Challenge in Shanghai, and Terún in Silicon Valley.
Recent Frankfurt and Munich client events include inviting a male member of the Allianz corporate board to speak about women’s advancement and co-hosting a half-day interactive workshop with a client focused on honing women’s communication skills.
Over the last three years, London has hosted several breakfast roundtable events for women General Counsel on a range of topics suggested by clients, including crisis management and women on boards and in positions of power.
Women@Weil has developed multiple business development workshops, including a recent workshop for women and men partners on developing relationships with women clients. Previously, Women@Weil members from around the globe participated in a three-part series of Client Development Workshops discussing developing a personal brand, elevator speech, and business plan, among other topics.
In November 2016, Women@Weil hosted its biennial New York Women’s offsite event.
The event featured a presentation from Claire Shipman, author of “The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance”, remarks from the General Counsel and other female partners, a fireside chat with the Executive Partner, an associate-led discussion, and a Women Alumni Leaders Panel.
In 2017, Weil offices nationwide participated in a fireside chat with Carol Robles-Roman, President & CEO of Legal Momentum and former NYC Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs and Counsel to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Carol spoke about the litigation matters Legal Momentum is undertaking to shape the laws and policies that affect gender equality, her personal career trajectory, the importance of mentors and sponsors, and how diversity has played a role in her personal and professional life.
In 2016, Weil celebrated Women’s History Month with a talk from Linda Hirshman, author of the New York Times critically acclaimed book, “Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World”. After discussing her book, Linda joined Ira Millstein, a senior partner at the firm, for a fireside chat to discuss how he and her husband and former Weil partner Marty Ginsburg were advocates for Justice Ginsburg early in her career. Thirteen offices globally participated in the event.
In 2015, Weil’s offices around the world hosted documentary screenings of “Girl Rising” in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.
Mentoring and Networking
“Mentors Across Borders” fosters the development of informal mentoring between women attorneys when they are traveling to other offices. Two female Warsaw partners met with the Budapest office Women@Weil for an informal breakfast discussion and tour. The Paris office’s Women@ Weil and Diversity Committee hosted visiting members of the Washington D.C. office for a luncheon, tour of the new Louis Vuitton Foundation art museum, and dinner.
When Weil’s Management Committee meets in different offices, the local Women@Weil group generally organizes a panel with the women members of the Management Committee.
Women@Weil New York and London have 20 active mentoring circles which include one female partner, one male partner, and five female associates to discuss career development topics.
The Firm has a long-standing Flextime program for associates to adopt a reduced work schedule while continuing their commitment to practicing law. The Firm also created the role of “Flex-Time Partner,” available for women and men who have made a long-term career choice to work on a flexible schedule. There are currently four flex-time partners.
Weil provides up to 18 weeks paid leave in the U.S. for associates who are expecting to give birth to a child, up to 10 weeks for associates whose spouse/domestic partner is expecting to give birth to a child, and up to 10 weeks for adoption leave.
Attorneys in the US and London offices have access to external professional coaches to navigate work/life challenges, ranging from before, during and after parental leaves to elder care.
This Women@Weil subcommittee provides a forum for mothers of young children, as well as hosting programs on business travel as a working parent, an infant and child CPR course, the estate planning process for parents, and a male and female associate-led discussion on navigating parenting and professional responsibilities.
Pipeline & Community
Women@Weil initiated Weil Pay It Forward, an inclusion and community service initiative that empowers associate and staff-led teams to turn $1,000 of Firm funds into lasting community impact. While the external community impact is profound, the internal connections fostered among colleagues and the opportunities for attorneys and staff at all levels to showcase their leadership skills are equally powerful. Since 2011, 58 teams in 7 cities have raised $593,892.
In 2015, three teams chose charities with a focus on women and girls:
Black Girls Code strives to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields.
Mary's Place By the Sea is a B&B style center of help and healing that provides women with a place to stay in between cancer treatments while offering a variety of services to its guests.
Susan G. Komen Greater New York removes barriers and ensures access to essential breast & heath screenings, treatment, education, outreach and support services for at-risk women, men and families in NYC and the surrounding area.
For the past six years, the New York office has hosted the Girls Inc. College Shower which shows girls the value of educational achievement by honoring those who are graduating from high school and going to college.
Dallas Business Journal
To date, 15 women lawyers have been recognized for expertise and excellence in their respective practices and sectors in 2017. Learn more about their successes here.