Gaveling the Glass Ceiling: Looking Ahead to our Upcoming “Strength in Numbers” Event

Topics: Diversity, Legal Executive Events, Talent Development, Thomson Reuters, Women’s Leadership Blog Posts


As this issue of Gaveling the Glass Ceiling is going to press, I’m already looking ahead to the (very quickly) approaching opening event in the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute’s diversity and inclusion series, Strength in Numbers, to be held in New York City and later in Atlanta.

The first of the Strength in Numbers series is a two-day event entitled, Strength in Numbers: Advancing Collaborative Diversity in the Workforce on March 14 & 15 in New York City. The second event in the series is spotlighting African-American talent in the legal industry with Strength in Numbers: Celebrating African American Representation in the Law on May 9 in Atlanta.

I am excited about several of the upcoming sessions, especially “Diversity in Flux: The State of the Nation 2018”, which kicks-off the New York City event. Panelists in “Diversity in Flux” will lead a discussion about the status of basic rights of underrepresented groups in the US. Susan Herman, President of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Rachel Tiven, CEO of Lamda Legal, will offer their insight on how support for minority groups among national leaders has changed in today’s political climate.

The remainder of the New York event will feature action-oriented roundtable discussions that focus on a variety of challenges and opportunities for collaboration around diversity issues. These roundtable facilitators and topics include:

  •        Aaron Tax, Directory of Advocacy for Sage, Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders, will lead a dialogue on how to eradicate misperceptions based on ageism;
  •        Devin Glenn, Global Diversity & Inclusion Manager from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, will oversee a conversation on the intersection of misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and related issues of gender identification in the workplace;
  •        Susan Garcia, Associate General Counsel at Thomson Reuters, will lead a discussion around the problems in viewing people solely from a perspective of gender, ethnicity or other visual characteristics; and
  •        Angel L. Ortiz, Senior Vice President of Labor Relation Operations at NBCUniversal Media, will host a lively debate on the outer limits of celebrating ideological differences and how to create an organizational culture based upon the concept of unity.

The final panel of the day will see Robert J. Grey, Jr., Senior Counsel (Retired) at Hunton & Williams and President of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, moderate a panel on the value brought by encouraging more diversity in your organization — the panel also includes a brainstorming session on how to retain a diverse workforce.

Co-chairs for the New York Strength in Numbers event include Patsy Doerr, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Responsibility at Thomson Reuters; Gillian Power, Chief Information Officer at Lathrop & Gage and Ricardo A. Anzaldua, Executive Vice President & General Counsel (Retired), MetLife.

I’m pleased to see that the sessions planned for these forums are designed to intentionally highlight issues that too often don’t get addressed in the workplace. We are certain that attendees will come away from the event will new insights, different perspectives and suggested actions they can take back to their employers. It’s our sincere hope that these actions will further the shared goal of creating more high-performing organizations that are made up of diverse talent and engaged employees.

In addition to the Strength in Numbers forum, I am also excited about two other planned events coming in early March:

  •        the #TRChangeMakers event on March 6 in Hong Kong, sponsored by Thomson Reuters and featuring Susan Taylor Martin, president of Thomson Reuters Legal, who will present opening remarks; and
  •        a Diversity Pitch event on March 7 in Toronto, held at Thomson Reuters Toronto offices, will focus on helping lawyers from diverse backgrounds develop their client pitching skills.

Indeed, as diversity and inclusion continue to be a vital topic in the legal industry, we’re proud to offer forums and events that will keep the dialog going around progress on lowering the barriers to success for underrepresented groups within the legal profession.

I hope to see you there!