Voices for Change

BakerHostetler sponsors Ellevate Network's Mobilize Women Week, June 21-25, which is open to all firm employees and partners, to support strong connections and encourage equity in the workplace.

News / June 21, 2021

They span colors and cultures, ages and interests, with backgrounds as varied as their careers. There are plenty of differences among the members of the Ellevate Network, the global community of professional women with which BakerHostetler partners to foster the professional development of the firm’s women attorneys and facilitate meaningful client relationships with high achievers. However, when it comes to Ellevate Network’s Mobilize Women Week, June 21-25, those diverse participants gather for identical goals.

“It’s all about interaction and inspiration,” said Women’s Committee Chair Jenni Edwards. “There’s no more valuable resource for professional development, day-to-day problem solving and personal growth than a connected community.”

For the third consecutive year, BakerHostetler is serving as an Ellevate Corporate Champion for Mobilize Women Week, which explores innovative solutions to modern-day challenges – from racial bias and lack of mental health support, to societal power dynamics and the pandemic’s impact on gender equity – via daily virtual sessions with more than 30 thought leaders and experts, including Elizabeth Nieto, Global Head of Equity and Impact at Spotify; Tracey Patterson, Managing Director at Accenture; and Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft. In addition to the speaker sessions, a range of interactive roundtable discussions, mentoring meetups and workshops support Ellevate’s main career-focused programs for rising leaders, senior executives, managers, entrepreneurs and more.

The firm’s women attorneys are always eligible to participate in Ellevate networking activities such as Ellevate Squads, the intimate, diverse groups of women who are at similar points in their careers and who meet virtually for 30 minutes each week. The partnership is among many initiatives launched by the Women’s Committee to support BakerHostetler’s women attorneys and build on their collective success:

  • Mentoring Circles Program: A new mentoring initiative that fosters career-building and client-development networks, the program features small groups of women attorneys – across a range of seniority levels, practice groups and offices – benefitting from the wisdom of women’s divergent voices and lived experiences.
  • Coffee and Conversation: An opportunity to get to know the Women’s Steering Committee through informal virtual discussions.
  • New Parent Program: Highly personalized outreach that includes mentoring, gifts and other resources to help support new parents from early pregnancy all the way through baby’s first birthday, including return-to-work coaching provided by author Lauren Smith Brody.

However, everyone – including clients, all firm employees and male colleagues – can partake in Mobilize Women Week’s non-VIP events. This year’s gathering has been preceded by a concerted effort to reach out to “women+,” defined by the organization as “all women, non-binary people and anyone who identifies as underrepresented because of their gender identity,” as well as others who are committed to working towards gender equality.

“We are excited that Ellevate officially extended its Mobilize Women event to include ‘women+,’ recognizing the importance of inclusion in programming,” said Women’s Committee Deputy Chair Bridget McCabe. “Non-binary people and others who identify as underrepresented because of their gender identity — in addition to allies — can all benefit from the rich programming that Ellevate provides.”

Engaging in substantive discussions and listening to new perspectives in a welcoming atmosphere is always worthwhile. For the firm’s lawyers, though, simply interacting with decision makers in different industries offers its own potential rewards.

“It’s common for us to associate with other lawyers through bar associations and other law-related organizations. Events like this one open a door, particularly for newer attorneys, to hone their skills with businesspeople,” said Edwards. “It’s an opportunity to market the firm’s services to a businessperson who either isn’t familiar with our firm or may be an entrepreneur who does not have a full understanding of how outside counsel would benefit their business.”