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07:50 AM
Breakfast and Check In
08:50 AM
Opening Comments
09:00 AM
Pulse Check: Benchmarking DEI Post Pandemic and What Does Success Look Like

Over the last three years, we have seen massive change in the way we work, where we work, and the very definition of what it means to be productive. Additionally, women, diverse, and other traditionally marginalized groups are finally being given a voice. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go.

This panel will explore:

• How the corporate landscape has changed
• Navigating the challenges and the benefits
• What we can do to continue to push the needle forward

09:45 AM
Disrupting the Noah’s Ark Approach to DEI: Creating a Culture of Inclusion

According to Bible scholars, there are no unicorns left in the world because they never made it on to the Ark. It’s thought that they were running late or they had a disagreement with Noah; no one is quite sure, but the point is that we don’t know how many other creatures missed the boat! In The Loudest Duck by Laura Liswood, she notes that at some point, corporate diversity came to mean the inclusion of at least two of every kind. Far too many believe that if you cram two people of each underrepresented group into a company or a boardroom, you have accomplished the task of creating a diverse work environment. Nothing could be further from the truth!

This panel will explore:

  • How partners and associates can engage their firm in more creative D&I initiatives
  • How firms can show their clients that they are sincerely implementing change and not just using a broad brush
  • How credit is given at law firms and what has to change
  • The responsibility of in-house counsel in helping law firms to become more diverse
  • What corporations can do to become more diverse

10:30 AM
Sponsorship, Change Agents & Allies

Because creating and maintaining a diverse workforce is no longer a gesture of goodwill, but essential to organizational growth, finding ways to foster diversity in the workplace is imperative. This is where leadership is most needed: by using privilege for the greater good, by paying it forward through sponsorship, and by offering mentoring and coaching where appropriate.

This panel will explore:

• What true allyship means
• Sponsorship programs and relationships that work
• Making the most of mentors and coaches

11:15 AM
Networking Break
11:55 AM
Harnessing the Benefits of a Multigenerational Workforce

This is a timely topic now that the workplace is as age diverse as ever before. Older workers say they feel like they are being pushed out while younger workers are leaving in large numbers because they feel undervalued. If organizations are going to thrive, communication and comprehension are the keys to a more harmonious and productive workforce.

This panel will explore:

• The challenges and opportunities of a multigenerational workplace
• Reverse mentoring
• Helping emerging leaders up the ladder
• Succession planning that works for all

12:40 PM
Code-Switching: Shifting the Way We Communicate and Present Ourselves in the Workplace

We all want to be seen in an unbiased way. Unfortunately, stereotypes and presumptions often distort people’s perceptions before we even enter a room. Therefore, as much as we want to be our authentic selves, members of diverse and underrepresented groups often find it necessary to distort the lens in order to avoid judgment. This distortion can manifest in a myriad of ways such as how we dress, speak, identify ourselves, and even how we move our bodies.

This panel will explore:

• The experiences of women and other underrepresented attorneys and how they navigate identity in the workplace
• What leaders can do to create a culture of belonging that allows employees to be their authentic selves
• What we can do as individuals to create a safe space for ourselves and others to embrace and celebrate our differences

01:25 PM
Lunch & Networking
01:55 PM
VIP Interview Series: Quisaira Almanzar Whitney

From Outsider to Trailblazer: Shattering Stereotypes, Building Bridges, and Leading Change– Quisaira's journey from the Bronx to a leadership role at a Fortune 100 company was not easy. She faced many challenges and barriers as a Latina woman in the legal profession. She had to adapt to different cultures and expectations, while staying true to herself and her values. Now, as a senior leader in a global company, Quisaira is passionate about promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. She believes that everyone deserves a fair chance and a sense of belonging. Quisaira has taken her past to become a fierce proponent of DEI.  Join us as she shares her thoughts on shaping initiatives that empower marginalized individuals to navigate the perplexing legal landscape and create a true culture of belonging.

In this presentation you’ll gain insights into: 

  • Overcoming ingrained biases and dispelling stereotypes 
  • The transformative potential of challenges as catalysts for growth 
  • The vital role of community engagement and mentorship in nurturing talent 
  • The profound impact of fostering a culture of belonging through DEI efforts 

02:20 PM

Roundtable 1: "Mentorship and Sponsorship"
Duane Minely, Partner, Cantor Colburn LLP

Roundtable 2: "The Pinball Theory of Life"
Heather Cantua, Deputy Managing Partner - Strategic Initiatives, Scale LLP
Kristen Smith Dayley, Partner and Co-Chair, Pro Bono Programs, Scale LLP

Roundtable 3: "Using a Growth Mindset to Create More Inclusive Teams"
Kristin Asai, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP


03:20 PM
Networking Break
03:30 PM
The Meritocracy Myth: Pipeline Development and Advancement for Diverse Candidates

Why do so few diverse and underrepresented candidates make it to equity partnership in Big Law or the C-suite of major corporations? Fact: There are more male CEOs with the name John than women CEOs in total. Further, according to numerous studies by international organizations such as The World Economic Forum, women will have to wait roughly 257 years to achieve pay parity.

This panel will explore:

• The meritocracy myth and why it can’t be relied on
• Why organizations should care about retaining and advancing women and people of color
• Making pay parity a top priority and strategies to achieve that goal

04:15 PM
It's More than a Feeling: Busting Stereotypes and Unpacking Unconscious Bias

The chances are extremely high that during your lifetime you have felt the impact of unconscious bias. To complicate matters, as human beings, every one of us has biases that we may not be aware of. That doesn’t make the effect any less dismissive or dehumanizing to the target. Whether discrimination comes from overt prejudice or unconscious bias, underrepresented groups and women are not receiving equal opportunities or treatment when it comes to landing in-house counsel positions, earning promotions, or making partner in a law firm. In fact, the impact of unconscious bias can too easily be underestimated and even rationalized. How can we identify our own unconscious biases/microaggressions and those of others?

This panel will explore:

  • How to do a moral inventory
  • Recognizing and resolving the commission of microaggressions: Power of language, Institutional bias, Ignorance, and education
  • How to approach: Managers, Peers, Direct reports

05:00 PM
Closing Comments + Networking Cocktail Hour