Taft Awarded the Women in Law Empowerment Forum LLC’s Gold Standard Certification
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has been recognized with the Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum LLC (WILEF). The WILEF Certification is reserved for law firms which demonstrate that women are active at the highest levels of leadership within the firm.
As the only initiative that emphasizes certifying, celebrating and publicizing law firms with female lawyers in leadership roles, the WILEF Certification focuses on overall percentages of women who are both partners and leaders at their firms. Firms selected for this certification must have at least 300 lawyers in the United States, at least 20% of its equity partners who are women and meet at least three additional criteria that demonstrate a firm’s commitment to advancing women in leadership roles. To view the complete list of criteria, click here.
Two criteria of the WILEF Certification are that 20% of a law firm’s primary governance committee and 20% of a firm’s compensation committee or equivalent must be women. As of 2019, women comprise 50% of Taft’s executive committee and more than 45% of Taft’s compensation committee. Taft also exceeded the criterion to have at least 7% of women equity partners who are women of color, with Taft attorneys who identify as women of color representing 9.84% of partners at the firm.
Taft’s move to a one-class partnership structure and implementation of a Gender Advancement Committee have resulted in significant increases of women in leadership roles. The one-class partnership structure—adopted to provide more leadership opportunities for women, lawyers of color and younger attorneys at Taft—has led to greater transparency and more inclusion at the firm. Additionally, several paid benefits and initiatives have been introduced at the firm to support female attorneys and other underrepresented groups in the legal industry. These efforts include providing a 16-week paid, gender-neutral parental leave, Milk Stork—an overnight breast milk delivery service, back-up family care service and an annual Women’s Symposium to recognize Taft’s trailblazers and to elevate leadership opportunities for female lawyers.
“Gender advancement is a priority at Taft,” explains Sonya Jindal Tork, co-chair of Taft’s Gender Advancement Committee. “We have a record number for the firm of women in leadership positions, and we will continue to strive to lead by example in the legal industry by identifying and promoting opportunities for women and minorities to lead and succeed.”
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