(CHICAGO) Katten announced today that the firm was among the 50 law firms that earned a spot on Seramount's "Best Law Firms for Women & Diversity." Katten has been recognized among the Best Law Firms for Women more than 10 times since the list's inception in 2007, earning the firm the Hall of Fame distinction.
"We are proud to be selected once again as a forward-thinking firm offering policies and benefits, professional development and advancement opportunities that uplift and empower our talent to thrive," said Katten Chairman Roger P. Furey. "We consistently work to reinforce our culture of inclusion here. We are intentional about creating a workplace where diversity is embraced, flexibility is valued, and our attorneys and business professionals feel welcomed and supported."
The Seramount list recognizes firms that utilize best practices in recruiting, retaining, promoting and developing women lawyers and lawyers from underrepresented groups, including people of color.
"From increasing representation of historically excluded talent to expanding upon their family-friendly benefits, our Best Law Firms are putting in the work necessary to build firm cultures where employees can thrive," said Subha V. Barry, president of Seramount.
A hallmark of Katten's longstanding commitment to support its women attorneys is its Women's Leadership Forum (WLF), intended to assist in the retention and advancement of women attorneys at the firm. Through the WLF, the firm matches women attorneys with mentors and offers engaging programming including business development boot camps, for example on how to pitch for new work and strengthen business relationships, as well as networking and social events.
Also noteworthy is Katten's Kattalyst Sponsorship Program, which launched in 2021 and is designed to support historically underrepresented attorneys, who are "protégés" and work with their "sponsors" to gain the experience, skills and connections necessary to succeed in their careers. Over the course of a year, high-achieving senior attorneys are paired with partners and firm leaders, who use their experience, influence and networks as sponsors to guide their protégés' careers and expand access to business development and client-facing opportunities. Program participants also receive one-on-one tailored coaching on leadership, management skills, law firm economics, relationship building and business development.
With a goal of helping women return to the legal profession, Katten recently participated in Diversity Lab's OnRamp Fellowship program, a re-entry platform that matches experienced attorneys — many of whom took a hiatus from practicing law to manage family obligations — returning to the workforce with top firms and law departments for a one-year paid fellowship.
Given the importance of flexibility, KattenFlex, the firm's return-to-office policy, provides firm attorneys and business professionals the flexibility to work with their practice and department leaders to determine when or if physical presence in the office is necessary.
Another initiative that deepens Katten's inclusive culture is its Parents Affinity Group, which serves as a supportive resource for working parents to discuss challenges and share effective approaches to navigating work and family responsibilities.
Among Katten's family-friendly benefits is a 12-week gender-neutral paid parental leave policy for both attorneys and business professionals that allows for an extension of eight additional weeks, for a total of up to 20 weeks for birth mothers and those who have exceptional circumstances, such as adoptive and surrogate parents.
Seramount's 2023 Best Law Firms for Women & Diversity application required responses to more than 300 questions about attorney demographics at different levels, flexibility, paid time off and parental leaves, and development and retention of women and people of color as well as those from other underrepresented groups. Questions about family-friendly benefits and mentoring and sponsorship participation were also included. Seramount, now part of EAB, is a strategic professional services and research firm dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.