One Firm’s Approach to Helping Women Attorneys Succeed
Greenberg Traurig is a uniquely empowering and diverse firm where individuals are respected and have the opportunity to contribute, develop leadership skills, and grow their business. The Greenberg Traurig Women’s Initiative (GTWI) reflects these principles and supports the inclusion and advancement of women in the legal profession through unique programming and resources designed to benefit the firm’s attorneys, their clients, and future lawyers.
From its inception, the firm has been dedicated to the advancement of women attorneys. The GTWI affinity group helps foster the success of women attorneys, strengthen the firm’s culture, contributes to the firm’s financial health, and better serves firm clients.
Liaisons serve from every office and help make GTWI relevant to the attorneys and clients of their specific office or market. An Advisory Group includes senior men and women attorneys who advise GTWI. The group plays a critical role in providing support at every level of the firm.
To see a sample of the awards and accolades that demonstrate this commitment to empowerment, click here.
Attracting and Retaining Talented Women Attorneys
GTWI supports the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women attorneys at the firm. Greenberg Traurig’s women attorneys are senior and key leaders of some of the firm’s largest practices as well as a co-president, a vice president, as two of the firm’s regional operating shareholders, and as four of the firm’s executive committee members. Many of the firm’s women attorneys are also recognized for their individual areas of expertise. Exemplifying its commitment through GTWI, the firm takes thoughtful action to address such issues important to our attorneys and community. Recent Greenberg Traurig programs, available to both men and women attorneys include:
- “Implicit Gender Bias: It’s Not What You Think (It’s How You Think)”
- “The Game Changing Factor Negotiation Skills to Advance Your Work and Life”
- “Difficult Interactions: Clients, Colleagues, and the Challenges We All Face”
- “Gender Matters: Tools for Effective Communications with the Opposite Sex”
Supporting Business Development for Women Attorneys
Greenberg Traurig supports women attorneys throughout their careers by providing resources they need to successfully develop new business. Recent programs include:
- A “Conversation with” event in Greenberg Traurig’s Boston office co-hosted with Ellevate. The co-founder of 2020 Women on Boards and the co-president of Ellevate spoke about national campaigns to increase women on U.S. corporate boards.
- Greenberg Traurig Denver’s Women's Leadership Initiative: Touch the Sky! Jean Galloway, chief executive officer of Galloway Group, moderated a panel of top Denver executives.
- How to Excel in Leadership Positions - An informal discussion with Greenberg Traurig and Morgan Stanley’s Legal and Compliance Division.
Women’s Business Forum
The firm’s annual Women’s Business Forum, an educational summit and networking event, provides an opportunity for these highly successful businesswomen to meet, develop new contacts, and benefit from a dynamic shared learning experience. Started in 2007 and held at a different host city each year, the Forum is recognized as a setting for professional women to share ideas, develop skills, meet mentors, and connect with new business contacts.
The October 2016 Women’s Business Forum in New York City included remarks from the following speakers:
- Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-Founder, Rent the Runway
- Karen M. Ignagni, President and CEO, EmblemHealth
- Irene Hirano Inouye, President, U.S.-Japan Council; Member, Board of Trustees, Ford Foundation; Trustee, Kresge Foundation
- Hon. Melinda Katz, President, Borough of Queens
- Michele Coleman Mayes, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, The New York Public Library
- Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President and CEO, McKissack & McKissack
- Missy Owens, Director of Public Affairs and Diplomatic Relations, The Coca-Cola Company
- Tanya Rivero, Anchor, Wall Street Journal Live
- Darcy Stacom, Vice Chairman, CBRE
- Susan Stautberg, Co-Founder, WomenCorporateDirectors
- Sally Susman, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Pfizer
- Mehrnaz (Naz) Vahid, Managing Director and Head of Law Firm Group, Citi Private Bank
- Ursula Wynhoven, Chief, Social Sustainability, Governance and Legal, United Nations Global Compact
Previous keynote speakers and host cities for the Forum include:
- Tina Tchen, Assistant to President Barack Obama and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls; Melody Barnes, CEO of MBSquared Solutions; and numerous elected officials (Washington, D.C.)
- Kat Cole, who at the time held the position of CEO of Cinnabon (Atlanta)
- Agnes Taile, Journalist and Past Award Winner, IWMF Courage in Journalism Award, who was interviewed by Sharon Waxman, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of TheWrap.com (California)
- Jan L. Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President of Communications and Government Relations for Caesars Entertainment Corp. (South Florida)
A highlight of the Forum is GTWI’s presentation of the Diana P. Scott Integrity in Action Award, dedicated to the memory of our former colleague, Diana P. Scott. In addition to being an exemplary attorney and a mentor who led by example, Scott was also an early leader of GTWI. Previous award recipients and host cities include:
- Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO, Girls Who Code (New York)
- Hala Moddelmog, the first female president and CEO of Metro Atlanta Chamber (Atlanta)
- Kim M. Keenan, General Counsel of the NAACP (South Florida)
- Katie Orenstein, Founder and CEO of The OpEd Project (Chicago)
- Ambassador Nancy Brinker, former Chief of Protocol for the U.S. and Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Dallas)
Serving as Industry Leaders
GTWI prides itself in leading by example and working with like-minded organizations to address women’s issues in a wide variety of industries and communities. Recent sponsorships include:
- National Association of Women Lawyers’ 12th Annual General Counsel Institute in 2016. Shareholders Johnine P. Barnes, Françoise Gilbert, and Obiamaka P. Madubuko spoke on: “How Smart is Your Smartphone, Really? New Risks for the Mobile Economy,” and “Changing Cost of the Part-Time Workforce in the U.S.”
- Corporate Counsel Women of Color’s® 12th Annual Career Strategies Conference in 2016. Nikki Lewis Simon moderated “Harnessing and Honing Strategic Thinking” and “20 People Skills You Need at Work.”
- The Americas Society/Council of the Americas launch of the World Bank/IFC’s report on Women, Business & the Law at the firm’s office in Miami.
- Philadelphia Women’s Way Book Prize at the Moore College of Art & Design honoring transgender journalist, Janet Mock, and her book Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, and So Much More.
In addition to providing ample leadership opportunities for its women attorneys, Greenberg Traurig is able to persuade others in the legal profession to join this effort. The firm recognizes that having women attorneys in law firm leadership positions is important because, not only are their careers advanced, but they will also be role models for others.
Open to all associates, GTWI supports the firm’s mentoring program specifically in order to ensure that women associates receive the guidance, support, and in-depth business development training they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive legal market. This program helps women associates become strong industry leaders while, at the same time, provides an opportunity for senior women attorneys to mentor their junior colleagues.