Old Girl Network
My co-blogger, Bob Ambrogi, and I have previously posted on the paucity of women in the upper ranks of large firms. As this article, Old Girl Network Reaches Out A Hand (NJ Biz 1/22/07) states, some firms are taking steps to correct the situation. According to the article, partner Christine Cartwright Baker of Drinker, Biddle & Reath two years ago founded a Women's Networking Group, which is open to all women in the firm. The article quotes Baker on her reason for starting the group:
“This is our opportunity to network among ourselves—get women involved in networking so that we each have a chance to learn what the other women are doing,” says Baker. “This is our answer to the old-boys network. It’s an open environment, so especially for the younger women—the more junior people—it gives them a nonthreatening environment to network.”
The group works because everyone takes part in some way, says Baker. “We seek everyone’s input.” From senior partners to junior associates, all participants have a role in planning the group’s events.
Moreover, now that the merger between Gardner, Carton & Douglas and Drinker is official, Baker is even more hopeful about the prospects for women at the firm. According to Baker, Gardner Carton had an even "more well-developed women's initiative."
Baker proves that much of the change at firms must come from women themselves. Baker didn't wait for a firm committee to put together a networking initiative; she proposed it herself. And perhaps more women at firms will likewise take charge of their destinies rather than waiting for their law firms to become more enlightened.
Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 22, 2007 at 05:42 PM | Permalink
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