Attorneys across Goldberg Segalla’s footprint attended the Women in Law Summit Series Driving Diversity in Law & Leadership virtual conference on December 2, 2020, and shared their key takeaways on the path to a fulfilling and productive career for women and minority leaders.
Caroline J. Berdzik, a partner based in Princeton and chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Employment and Labor, Health Care and Long-Term Care groups, was a panelist on a session devoted to the #MeToo movement, centering on inclusion strategies and what law firms and corporations can do to help. Key takeaways from the panel, titled “#MeToo – Moving Beyond the Hashtag and Enlisting Men to Become Ambassadors for Change,” included:
- Mentors and sponsors are critical for women to obtain visibility and opportunities inside and outside of law firms and companies.
- Businesses must recognize the need for men to act as allies and ambassadors for change, and seek to engage them to that end.
Elizabeth A. Chang, also a partner in the firm’s Princeton office, shared a quote from the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that captured the spirit of the virtual conference: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Liz’s key takeaways included:
- It’s important to be mindful of differences and diversity, but not to assume anything about another person’s background, whether that be race, gender, or ethnicity.
- Individual success and helping others are not mutually exclusive.
- The traditional majority groups in business (e., men and white people) can become strong allies of historically excluded individuals and groups, and it’s important to engage them in the process.
Lisa L. Peterson, a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles and Orange County offices, said:
- “My key takeaway is that having personal and in-depth conversations with people of other diverse backgrounds is truly the way to getting them to understand the issues you face and one step closer to getting them to actually take action to do something about change instead of just all talk.”
Christina A. Gonzales, a partner in the firm’s Philadelphia office, spoke about the effect of seeing more and more women and people of color in in-house counsel and C-suite roles:
- “They are demanding that the law firms they hire employ and promote diversity and inclusion in real, tangible ways―and they want to see results! If law firms don’t start ‘walking the walk’ and truly commit to hiring and retaining diverse talent, they are going to be left behind.”
For more information about the conference, contact Caroline.
MORE ABOUT GOLDBERG SEGALLA’S COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION:
Goldberg Segalla’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is strong, sincere, and a critical component of our firm’s mission and culture. We are proud to receive consistent regional and national recognition for the innovative programs we have developed and the results we have been able to achieve—both within our own firm and across the wider business and legal communities.