Taft Cleveland will be recognized as one of the region’s four progressive organizations by Smart Business Magazine’s Smart Women Awards on April 16. The award program recognizes women and organizations that support and promote women and address issues facing them in the workplace.
The awards program will be held at the Westin from 7:30 am – 11:00 am. In addition to recognizing progressive organizations, the program will also honor categories including:
- Advocate for Advancement
- Progressive Entrepreneur
- Progressive Woman
A complete listing of honorees can be found here.
Taft was selected based on the nomination of partner Brandi N. Weekley and her efforts to advance firm wide women initiatives and also assist women entrepreneur clients.
As an active member of Taft’s Gender Advancement Committee, Weekley volunteered to lead the firm’s efforts to formulate a firm wide emergency child care program that was implemented in August 2018. The program incorporates Care@Work, an emergency family care service and benefits program that helps find caregivers for attorneys and benefits-eligible employees. Weekley also helped to institute Milk Stork, a service that provides overnight breast milk delivery, allowing breast-feeding attorneys to plan their business trips more efficiently.
Through the Gender Advancement Committee’s efforts, Taft offers an industry-leading, gender-neutral, 16-week paid parental leave for birth or adoptive parents. The policy applies regardless of gender, marital status or primary versus non-primary caregiver status. The only requirement under the policy is that a Taft attorney be one of the parents of a newborn or newly adopted child. The paid parental leave is available to Taft attorneys from the first day of their employment at Taft. The policy is among the most expansive packages offered among law firms, per the Association of Legal Administrators.
Last October, Weekley and a small group of female colleagues launched the Cleveland office’s first Gender Advancement Committee event which honored women in STEM (Science Technology Energy Mathematics).
Weekley focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions. She counsels private equity funds, venture capital funds and emerging growth companies on all aspects of acquisitions, dispositions, capital formation and private placements. Weekley received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Ohio Wesleyan University and her J.D., summa cum laude, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.