(June 8, 2018) Baker Donelson has been named one of six finalists for the prestigious award, Outstanding Firm in Advancing Gender Diversity and Inclusion, by the Chambers Women in Law Awards: USA 2018. This coveted award recognizes a firm's concerted efforts to promote a working environment that strongly cultivates the values of a diverse workforce, driving the firm forward with its diversity and inclusion programs. The Chambers Women in Law Awards are designed to recognize companies who have achieved dramatic improvements in gender equality, women's advancement, and inclusion in the legal profession.
Through its Women's Initiative, Baker Donelson has implemented numerous key initiatives designed to create an environment where female attorneys thrive, including an industry-leading parental leave policy, a firm-wide mentoring program for women, a program that awards business development grants to women attorneys, and a training program designed to help women attorneys achieve equity shareholder status.
Women serve in key leadership roles across the Firm. Currently, women serve as president and COO, on the board of directors, as office managing shareholders, as department chairs, and as practice group leaders. This year's class of new shareholders at the Firm was comprised of more than 50 percent women, making it the fourth consecutive year women have made up nearly or more than half of the Firm's newly elected shareholders. Additionally, nearly half of the new shareholders, including men and women, have taken advantage of Baker Donelson's parental leave policy during their time at the Firm.
Christy Tosh Crider, chair of Baker Donelson's Women's Initiative, said, "We're very excited to be recognized alongside five firms that have made trail-blazing commitments to advancing women. I could not be more proud of Baker Donelson and its Women's Initiative leadership team. They are creative, tenacious, and results-oriented."
Baker Donelson's culture as an exceptional workplace for women has earned the Firm numerous recognitions, including being named by Working Mothermagazine as one of the "Best Law Firms for Women," being ranked 53rd on FORTUNE's list of the "100 Best Workplaces for Women®" and being ranked third nationally in diversity for women in the 2018 edition of Vault, Inc.'s "Best Law Firms for Diversity." The Firm also has been certified by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) as a Gold Standard Firm for four consecutive years.
The Chambers Women in Law Awards recognize those pioneers who have furthered the advancement of women within the legal sphere. They seek to recognize these achievements, empower the people behind innovative women's initiatives, and give greater visibility to gender diversity. Finalists in all categories will be recognized and winners will be announced at a ceremony on June 21, 2018, at The Yale Club of New York City.