When I learned that Epstein Becker and Green had been named among the “50 Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers for 2015, I was not surprised. Nor were any of my female colleagues here at EBG. We know firsthand that our firm is the real deal when it comes to supporting, retaining and advancing smart, hard working women at every level of their careers.
According to Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers, inclusion in this meaningful list means that EBG is among the 50 firms that have been “recognized for their family friendly policies and career and business development initiatives that are helping to retain women attorneys and advance them into the leadership pipeline.” This year’s award measures firms on such factors as representation, flexibility, leadership, compensation, and advancement of women, as well as development and retention of women.
Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother Media, says, “The 50 Best Law Firms for Women are setting and pushing forward the standard when it comes to retaining women—and advancing them to the very top, equity partnership. These firms are also committed to creating best practices that support working parents.”
Deborah Epstein Henry, president of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, adds, “Law firms that focus exclusively on flexible and reduced-hour policies to retain women or solely on getting women in power seats are missing the mark. We see our Best Law Firms for Women that are having the most success to be the ones that understand the value of focusing on both retention and promotion simultaneously. They are cultivating female talent to facilitate that they get the good work, the skills, and the flexibility they may need. Yet they are also investing in women with business development and leadership opportunities to ensure they have a strong presence and voice in the equity partner ranks, the governing committees, and in running the law firm as a business.”
EBG understands all of this. Women here are represented at all leadership levels, including on the firm’s Board of Directors, in senior management, on practice steering committees, and in key working groups. The numbers are impressive:
- 100 percent of EBG attorneys elected to shareholder status in 2014 were women;
- 54 percent of the attorneys hired in 2014 were women;
- Women represent 30 percent of EBG’s combined equity and non-equity partnership and 21 percent of EBG’s equity partnership (which is above the national average of 17.3 percent equity partners in the legal profession, as reported by the National Association of Women Lawyers); and
- 20 percent of the firm’s Board of Directors are women.
The leaders at EBG have realized something that I wish more law firms (and more employers in general) would understand – a commitment to diversity and inclusion, including the advancement of women lawyers in the workplace, is a mutually beneficial investment that pays off in spades. When a firm places emphasis on fostering, supporting and promoting all its talented lawyers, no matter their gender, the result is good for the firm, the clients and the individual lawyers. EBG is a stronger, more effective and successful law firm because of its commitment to this effort, and I’m proud to call EBG my professional home.
Congratulations to EBG for this fantastic recognition!