“Gender diversity in business is directly linked to increased creativity, collective intelligence and financial performance. … It’s no surprise then that many of our country’s most innovative companies are instituting new policies to invest in women leaders,” wrote Orrick Chairman Mitch Zuklie in a May 2015 Fortune op-ed about our industry-leading parental leave program.
Social research confirms the positive impact on business when organizations have three or more women on their board of directors. At Orrick, we are fortunate to have not only three women board members but also a 15-member senior leadership team that is one-third women. In addition,two of our five global business units are led by women.
Yet we there is more we can do to advance women at our firm. To guide us, our Women’s Initiative is co-led by Leah Sanzari and Karen Johnson-McKewan, recipient of the National Association of Women Judges’ 2015 Florence K. Murray Award for leadership. To involve both women and men in crafting innovative solutions, we have formed an Inclusion Leadership Council that includes four male partners among its members. And to draw on the best thinking from inside and outside our firm, we have created a Women’s Advisory Council composed of leaders in business and law. Members include senior leaders from Gap, Kleiner Perkins, NVIDIA, Oracle and RPX Corp. Collaborating on this initiative is Kellie McElhaney, adjunct professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and founder of the Haas Center for Responsible Business.