For more than a decade our firmwide and local inclusion councils have tackled our most pressing recruitment, retention and advancement strategy needs, from building a sense of community, to better access to professional development and networking, flexible work arrangements and holistic wellness benefits. Meanwhile, the councils are also working hard to promote diversity within the legal community through key partnerships with clients, and targeted outreach to lateral candidates, law school students and the not-for-profit community.
Our firmwide resource groups (FRGs) are a natural extension of our commitment to the collegial and collaborative culture our founders envisioned long ago. Formed to encourage an ongoing dialogue of shared interests and concerns between our lawyers and professionals, our FRGs are a place to forge tighter bonds with colleagues while sharing ideas for more creative and innovative ways to solve complex challenges. Our FRGs have grown in popularity, and currently include dedicated forums for women, working parents and caregivers, people with disabilities and those who identify as Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and/or LGBTQ+ and their allies.
Akin Gump’s Women’s Professional Development Initiative was established more than a decade ago and is now part of the Women’s Firmwide Resource Group. It provides a forum for the firm’s women to build relationships internally and externally and provide targeted professional development, such as mentoring, training to enhance executive presence, and coaching for how to draft effective self-evaluations. Women’s FRG committees are active at both a local-office and firmwide level.
In 2018 we hosted our third Women’s Leadership Conference, which brought together our women lawyers from around the globe to focus on professional development and networking. Through seminars, workshops and networking opportunities, the Women’s Leadership Conference provides a forum to build relationships and focus on the topics our women lawyers request most often, from partnership and promotion to authenticity and presentation skills.
“As a member of the Black Firm Resource Group and the D.C. Inclusion Council, I have been able to consult with other lawyers seeking to increase inclusion within the firm, as well as share ideas and programs geared toward improving the number of diverse candidates.” Miles Taylor, Associate, Financial Restructuring, Washington, D.C.
“Being part of the Dallas Inclusion Council is very rewarding because it is terrific to see how committed firm leadership is to such important goals.” Daniel Park, Associate, Litigation, Dallas