[If this resonates with you, please share using the hashtag #WFGM17.]
I’ve witnessed so many positive changes since beginning my legal career. The industry as a whole has become more welcoming to diverse perspectives, and firms have sought out new ways of recruiting and supporting groups who’ve been traditionally underrepresented in the partnership and leadership ranks. In 2013, Latham founded its Women’s Leadership Academy, a multi-day, in-person meeting designed to support the advancement of women. As we prepare for our sixth academy and attend the Women’s Forum Global Meeting, I wanted to pause and consider some of the key themes that I think are essential for success and personal growth.
A Network Matters
Being a great lawyer, or a great executive, requires tremendous people skills. Our Academy helps attendees build their networks not only by offering interactive learning sessions led by a combination of Latham partners and outside speakers who are experts in their respective fields, but also by creating opportunities for socializing and interacting outside of the training and panels. We seek to build a sense of community, which is the strongest network there is.
The Value of Being You
Study after study shows that employees who feel like they can be themselves at work are happier and more productive. Being your true self at the office sometimes takes courage, but being open about who you are helps you grow as an individual and your team gets the benefit of your unique insight. At Latham, we have seen time and again how diverse teams produce better results for our clients. A multiplicity of perspectives and experiences enhances creativity and ensures more innovative problem-solving.
Multiple Plans for Success
It’s very easy to lose sight of your goals in the busyness of day-to-day life. I try to be methodical about my plan for success, but at the same time I recognize that my plan might look different from someone else’s. Our Academy encourages attendees to carefully consider the art of self-promotion and business development—skills that women in all industries must have. Likewise, women at all levels need to set goals that feel right for them personally, based on where they are and where they’re going.
We want our women lawyers to dare to lead, and we want to give them the tools with which to do so. We are thrilled to be joining colleagues and executives at the Women’s Forum, and we look forward to sharing strategies and successes. #WFGM17
This article is part of the ‘Daring to lead’ series, highlighting voices from the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society Global Meeting, in Paris, on 5-6 October. You can see their full programme and current list of speakers for the event at the Women’s Forum website.