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Spotlight on DEI Initiatives That Support Women at Loeb

There is no more opportune time to reflect on our own commitment to gender diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) than on International Women’s Day. That’s why we are looking back on some of our recent efforts to further representation of women at the firm and the multifaceted ways in which we continue to promote gender-based legal diversity through our internal programs and external partnerships.

In 2022, we focused on the growth of the firm’s affinity group, Women’s LEAD (Leadership, Engagement, Advancement and Development) network across offices, and launched professional development and educational programs supporting women. Our Women’s LEAD network plays an active role in incorporating new lawyers into the firm and furthering relationships among partners and associates from all practice groups and offices, and it seeks out opportunities to support women in their local communities. In 2023, the Women’s LEAD network looks forward to increasing professional development initiatives, client events and networking opportunities dedicated to the advancement of women lawyers at Loeb and across the legal community, and to fostering partnerships with organizations that share the same values.

Recognitions received at a firm level and by outstanding individual attorneys exemplify the culture of gender parity that we continually strive to promote. Last year, we were recognized for “Tipping the Scales” by the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, a distinction awarded to firms that have 50% or more women in their new partner class for the year. This was a repeat for Loeb, and our latest round of elevations once again demonstrate the firm’s commitment to advancing women to the partner level. Over the past several years, Loeb has been an active participant in the OnRamp Fellowship program, dedicated to bringing female lawyers back after a career hiatus. At an individual level, our female partners have also been recognized for their unwavering commitment to advocating for women in law and beyond. Most recently, Melanie Howard and Jessica Lee have been recognized by the National Association of Women Lawyers Rising List, and Ronelle Porter was awarded the 2023 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Beacon Award by the New York State Bar Association Committee on DEI. 

Hear from our Women’s LEAD group partners as they share their perspective on celebrating International Women’s Day and the state of gender equality today at Loeb and in the world at large:

“We cannot take our rights for granted in 2022, and the Dobbs decision and the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody provide glaring examples. The yearly recognition of International Women’s Day reminds us to remain vigilant in fighting for equality for ALL women.”Kathleen Gersh

“International Women’s Day means celebrating the strength and unity of women around the world.”Camila Piedrahita Abello

“International Women’s Day provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate how far women’s rights and gender equality have come, thanks to the incredible accomplishments of women in every field, while also allowing us to raise awareness about the work that remains to be done. In the legal market, it is inspiring to see the growing number of women in positions of management today who serve as role models for younger women and remind us that women’s drive, dedication and passion for their work know no bounds.”Kristen Klesh 

“IWD presents a moment to celebrate, cultivate and elevate women in our lives and around the world. This year, I reflect on IWD in 1979, when Iranian women began six days of protests against a new mandatory veil decree, and how, over 40 years later, Iranian women (and other women around the world) continue to fight daily for freedom, equality and justice. While acknowledging our nation is imperfect, I’m acutely grateful that I had the freedom to pursue an education, that I am free to practice in the legal profession, and that I can raise my daughter with freedom of belief and conscience.”Melanie Howard

“International Women’s Day is an important annual reminder to celebrate our collective achievements yet recognize that there is still much to be done to protect women’s rights. I’m proud to work with women attorneys, administrators, executives, talent and community leaders who are creative, whip-smart, assertive and advocates for themselves and others. Engaging with powerful women in my professional life inspires me to infuse these qualities in my young daughters.”Bess Morgan

“International Women’s Day represents an important opportunity to reflect on how we can continue to promote gender equality and equity, both personally and professionally. In the spirit of International Women’s Day, I’m proud to celebrate the fact that most of this year’s newly elevated partners at Loeb are women.”Ali Schaller

“This year, we’re celebrating the strong group of women attorneys who have been elected as partners of the firm.”Ann Chen

“I am grateful to work at a law firm that encourages women to grow and succeed. There are many female role models to look up to in leadership positions who continue to create space and opportunity for more women.” Jessica Davis Mills