(CHICAGO) Katten announced today that the firm earned a spot on Working Mother's 13th annual "Best Law Firms for Women" list, recognizing firms that utilize best practices in finding, retaining, promoting and developing women lawyers.
Katten has appeared every year on the list since its inception in 2007, earning the firm the Hall of Fame designation. This year's list includes 60 law firms, which were selected based on responses to more than 300 questions about attorney demographics at different levels, schedule flexibility, paid time off and parental leave, and development and retention of women.
"We are so proud and honored to be on this list," said Katten's Chief Talent Officer Melanie Priddy. "This recognition helps spotlight the work we've done recently to enhance our parental-leave, work-life and career-advancement initiatives. These offer a better work environment for our attorneys and business professionals."
During the public health crisis, Katten revised its remote work policy to allow for flexible schedules so employees could work hours both inside and outside the traditional workday to accommodate caregiving needs at this challenging time.
Earlier this year, Katten expanded its parental leave policy to include a standard of a gender-neutral paid leave of 12 weeks. An additional 8 weeks for a total of 20 weeks is offered to birth mothers and adoptive and surrogate parents.
Complementing these policies and increased benefits are a number of career-focused initiatives such as a new committee to assess and make recommendations regarding standards for partnership in an effort to impact promotion and retention of women attorneys.
"Having experienced life in a law firm as single, married and then as a mother, I know the challenges that female attorneys face and the type of support needed to help overcome barriers to success," said partner Kenya S. Woodruff, national chair of Katten's Women's Leadership Forum (WLF). "At Katten, we provide the tools necessary for female attorneys to advance and to strengthen the pipeline for the next generation of firm leaders through a number of programs and policies."
From a training series focused on overcoming imposter syndrome to virtual happy hours during the pandemic and the national mentoring panel featuring partners who offer advice, WLF has served as a resource to help elevate and retain Katten's female attorneys by offering skill-building opportunities, networking and other career development programs.
This fall, WLF plans to host a six-part business development bootcamp for its female attorneys, focused on empowering them to grow their client relationships so that they can be even more successful.
"Law firms on this year's list were better prepared to respond to the effects of the pandemic because of their continued support of flextime and remote work for working parents and caregivers," said Subha V. Barry, president of Working Mother Media. "We are proud to recognize their resilience and steadfast commitment to supporting gender equality."