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The Justice & Diversity Center

No Glass Ceiling

 

The No Glass Ceiling Task Force was formed in 2001 to increase opportunities for women to serve in leadership positions within the legal profession in the San Francisco Bay Area. From 2001 through 2010, the Task Force successfully motivated Bay Area law firms and corporate law departments to increase the number of women lawyers in partnership and other leadership positions.  In July of 2005, survey results showed an impressive 63% of participating firms with at least 25% of women as partners. And 69% reported having reached the 25% for management positions, far ahead of the national average.

The No Glass Ceiling initiative was re-launched in 2010 with new goals and new projects aimed at the retention and promotion of women attorneys. The No Glass Ceiling Task Force once again asked Bay Area law firms and corporations to be nationwide leaders and commit to goals for the retention and advancement of women. 

The No Glass Ceiling Initiative asks law firms to take concrete action to achieve the following goals by 2015: 

  • 30% women attorneys at the partnership level;
  • 5% women of color attorneys at the partnership level; and
  • 30% women attorneys on each of the following committees: Executive or Management committee, Partner Compensation Committee, and Partnership Evaluation /Promotion Committee.

For corporate legal departments, the goals are

  • 30% women attorneys in the legal department,
  • 5% women attorneys of color in the legal department, and
  • 30% women attorneys of those attorneys managing one or more persons.

To date, over 35 law firms and corporate legal departments have committed to the 2015 goals.

If your firm or legal department has not yet signed on to the 2015 goals, we invite you to do so today by signing and returning the below pledge form.

The No Glass Ceiling Task Force recognizes that to achieve the 2015 goals there must be a pipeline of women attorneys prepared for leadership positions.  In 2010, the Task Force hosted three conferences focused on skill-building for women attorneys at key career stages.  Each conference drew approximately 100 law firm and in-house attorneys. The goal of this conference series is to support law firms and corporate law departments in increasing the pipeline of women attorneys ready for key leadership positions.

The first conference, “Crossing the Finish Line,” was held in March 2010 and was directed at senior associates (class of 2001 & up) and junior partners (admitted to partnership since 2005) as well as in-house corporate counsel.  The second conference “Starting Out Strong” was held in June 2010 for first through fourth year law firm associates. The “Starting Out Strong” conference featured several prominent speakers, including Michele Landis Dauber, Professor of Law at Stanford University and Jessie Kornberg, Executive Director of Ms. JD.  The third conference was held in November 2010. This conference titled “Staying on Track” was geared towards mid-level law firm associates and in-house counsel and featured prominent women law firm partners and in-house attorneys.

In 2011, the No Glass Ceiling Task Force co-hosted a historic symposium with the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.  At this symposium, female general counsels from Fortune 500 Companies on the West Coast met with California law firm managing partners to exchange ideas and discuss the economic benefits of having women in leadership positions in law firms. 

For 2013, the No Glass Ceiling Task Force is planning several events, including a skill-building conference focused on leadership and compensation issues. There was also a panel discussion based on the book "Lean In" where the panel of general counsel, law firm partners and judges discussed how they successfully leaned in.


If your law firm or corporate legal department is interested in signing on to the No Glass Ceiling 2010 Breaking the Barriers Initiative, please download the appropriate form and return it to Yolanda Jackson at BASF.

For more information, please contact Yolanda Jackson at yjackson@sfbar.orgor Erin MacLeod, No Glass Ceiling Task Force Co-Chair at erinjmacleod@yahoo.com.