Learn how to prepare for a powerful keynote by using seven tips that Dima uses for developing her keynotes.
Engaging with your audience. Even if you are given advice that does not align with your normal presentation style, follow through with your professional instincts and take advantage of your personal skill set. This is is what makes a presentation a memorable and worthwhile experience for all.
Confidence is ultimately about trusting ourselves and our abilities. We need to have faith in our work, our personality, and our cause, and we will continue to make waves, inspire, and thrive.
So many of us are very ambitious but may have found ourselves slipping away in our pursuit of greatness.
This blog discusses five tips to manage up and have influence over your manager.
In this blog, we discuss three scenarios revolving around different managers, illustrate tactics to diffuse tensions, and highlight the power of taking initiative and managing up in the workplace.
In an effort to increase hiring diverse graduating attorneys, it is critical for law schools to focus on increasing diversity in their student bodies in order to prepare the next generation of qualified and diverse attorneys for law firms to hire from. I hear recruiters at law firms share a common challenge regarding hiring out of law schools; that year-after-year they find a limited diverse candidate pool to choose from.
This blog includes initiatives that three law schools are doing in order to attract and retain diverse students. These initiatives can be utilized by other law schools that are looking for a benchmark as well as law firms that are dedicated to increasing diversity.
Columbia Law School
To highlight the importance of diversity off the bat, Columbia Law School emphasizes their focus on individuality and acceptance throughout their website and marketing materials, repeatedly illustrating their commitment to inclusion. Their website proudly displays a list of diversity and inclusion events which range from sponsoring students to attend diversity conferences, creating inclusive peer-mentor training about unconscious bias, and inviting book authors and columnists that specialize in diversity to present to students. These initiatives which revolve around inclusion and acceptance reinforce the value of diversity and provide a safe spaces for minority groups to form strong connections with their school and community. One of Colombia's main initiatives is Community Peer Mentor Training, a program where first year students meet with mentors to discuss their personal biases and develop strategies for becoming more accepting. This encouraging difficult discussions and lessens prejudice and stereotypes in the future.In addition, the school holds a multitude of events revolving around current events which heavily affect minority groups. For example, in September of 2018, Columbia Law School held a discussion on the Kavanaugh Hearing, it was intended to answer for questions and concerns from students and faculty. This is incredibly important, because events like these empower minority groups currently in the school while also showcasing inclusion within Columbia to future students. By actively displaying these opportunities on their application website, any student can see this law school’s focus on diversity, increasing Columbia’s pull towards diverse candidates.
The University of Chicago
Another law school exceeding in the field of diversity is University of Chicago, which places an emphasis in increasing discussion about diversity and working towards a multicultural and gender-diverse staff and student body. The mission statement of the university heavily focuses on diversity valuing a “well-rounded, critical, and socially conscious lawyer and leader” with the “belief that ideas matter and are worth discussing,” highlighting the importance of an open-minded and accepting student. Additionally, the school states that their goal will be fulfilled “only when [their] community includes people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and when all people within [their] community feel welcomed and enabled to bring their views and experiences to these discussions.” With a mission statement focused on inclusivity, the university illuminates their commitment to understanding and acceptance, providing a strong guiding statement for their faculty. This piece reinforces the fact that diversity is not only an important part of University of Chicago, but an aspect essential to their overall mission. In addition to this proactive mission statement, the university also has developed a webinar series for prospective and admitted students, targeting individuals who were unable to attend informational on-campus visits. Through this program, the school reaches out to minority and low-income students, providing them with information about the university and the multitude of opportunities awaiting all individuals at University of Chicago. Also through this program, the university gives students the opportunity to engage with faculty and administrators about diversity, inclusion, and other topics through videoconferences, helping minority applicants discuss their choices and work towards a successful law school career. Through these initiatives, University of Chicago has become the most diverse law school in terms of Hispanic acceptance rates, earning a perfect score on U.S. News’ Diversity Index.
Cornell University utilizes a variety of initiatives to draw in diverse applicants, focusing on outreach for undergrad students and creating networking possibilities for a welcoming student body. The Diversity Matters Outreach Program is an initiative which focuses resources towards underrepresented groups, providing them with preparation for law school admission. These programs assist racially and ethnically diverse students with applications, scholarship forms, and additional questions they have. Cornell is intentionally increasing diversity, taking the initiative to reach out to students of color instead of waiting for the same groups of undergraduates to apply every year. With proactive programs like these, a wide variety of individuals receive assistance and advice applicable to their applications for Cornell and other law schools, increasing the diversity overall in the field of law. Additionally, once accepted, Cornell continues to advocate for diverse thought, discussion, and education with classes geared towards expanding horizons. These courses focus on unique cultures, environments, and international standards along with clinics which encourage students to learn about the world around them and become well-rounded and inclusive leaders in the field of law. Lastly, Cornell incorporates supportive networks into their extracurricular activities. These organizations function as university supported groups for religious, racial, and cultural groups, providing a place for minorities to gather and discuss their shared goals and issues. Through these initiatives, Cornell highlights its commitment to inclusion and effectively increases the diversity in its applicant pool. With these systems in place, the entire field of law becomes more unique and accepting of minority individuals, creating a positive change which will affect generations of lawyers.
These three universities highlight the importance of being intentional and proactive. Each school utilizes a variety of different methods, but they all share a common goal of being dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion. With diversity as a priority, universities and law firms must continue to partner together in order to make these initiatives successful and benefiting everyone.
Throughout the world, countless law firms have been making an effort to create more inclusion and acceptance in their practices, utilizing a variety of innovative and unique methods to increase diversity in the workplace. These firms illustrate a myriad of procedures which we can employ to plant and grow seeds of diversity within our own organizations. A large amount of the diversity initiatives revolve around two main points: attracting and retaining talent. Here, we will explore what three firms are doing to recruit women, people of color, and other minorities.
In an effort to empower minority groups, many law firms create scholarships and fellowship programs for incoming law students, undergraduate students interested in law, and even high school students. The firm White and Case highlights this point with their program at Cristo Rey New York High School. Here, the firm allows high school students to work in their offices as a part of a Corporate Work Study Program, giving students the chance to gain experience at a nationally renowned firm and earn up to 70 percent of the cost of their education. These opportunities allow young struggling students to explore the environment of a firm while financially sustaining their educational endeavors. Additionally, firms like Winston and Strawn LLP have generously given over $565k in diversity scholarships to minority law students. By providing financial assistance, these firms take ownership in empowering individuals to follow through with their dreams of becoming a lawyer. These scholarship programs help to remove the economic burden and allow minority students to focus on their studies, leading to higher graduation rates for diverse students.
Alongside financial support, it is equally important to devote time to diverse law students and job applicants. Winston and Strawn LLP have illustrated their dedication through their Diverse Associate Sponsorship Program. This initiative connects high-potential minority and LGBTQ associates with sponsors from the firm’s Executive Committee. Through this process, individuals are given a chance to form connections and learn from senior-level partners, encouraging diversity in the upper ranks. Through this program, upper-level executives are also presented with the opportunity to form bonds with minority members of the firm, opening their eyes to potential struggles faced by these individuals. With this program, both parties gain invaluable experiences, growing from their connections with one another. Incoming diverse individuals receive valuable advice and unique advancement opportunities through this mentorship, boosting their careers and increasing diversity through the ranks of the firm.
Another method to increase diversity in the workplace is by participating in job fairs targeted towards minority groups. The firm Arnold and Porter demonstrates this through their involvement in diverse job fairs. This form of outreach encourages students of varied backgrounds to apply to law programs and firms, illuminating the possibility of a future in law to individuals who may have never previously considered it because of their race, religion, or gender. Here, organizations is intentional in creating connections with diverse students, learning more about their potential application pool. Local job fairs geared towards women, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals provide a great point of contact for firms and diverse students. Law firms which utilize this opportunity form strong ties to the unique groups in their area, leading to a higher rate of diverse hires.
Community involvement is an integral way to continue to enhance the firm’s brand image, support local minority groups, create a lasting change, and increase diversity within the field of law. Arnold and Porter follow through with this initiative through their support of charitable and nonprofit organizations which focus on advancing rights for a variety of minority groups. By supporting these charities, whether through financial contributions or volunteering time and other resources, the firm generates a positive change in their community, furthering the lives of minority groups. Through this involvement, the law firm not only gains more recognition with women, people of color, and others in need, but also the whole community! This initiative is great for large and small law firms alike, as any attorney can volunteer time to local organizations, spurring a change in their surrounding environment, networking with valuable charities, and empowering minority members of the community.
Through these practices, law firms from around the nation have devoted their resources to increasing diversity and the pipeline of talent for recruitment. From long lists of scholarships dedicated to people of all nationalities, races, and religions to mentorship programs, these organizations place a high priority on hiring lawyers with unique backgrounds, experiences, and talents. It is important to focus on the moment, placing effort into empowering young minority individuals now in the hopes of creating a diverse pipeline! While all initiatives may not lead to diverse hires within a specific firm, these methods increase diversity across the industry, increasing inclusion and acceptance. The process of investing in minority and focusing on diverse hires is an instrumental part of increasing diversity. However, the topic of diversity entails much more than simply hiring a wide range of individuals, firms must also work on the retention of diverse attorneys. This requires a different set of methods, focused on maintaining and empowering minority groups throughout the law firm. We will discuss this topic and highlight more law firms taking steps towards retaining diversity in the next blog of the series.
At the bottom line, diversity does much more for a business than increase the uniqueness of individuals in the workplace. Inclusion and acceptance lead to results in innovation, talent hiring and retention, and economic outcomes. Diversity is imperative not only for the workplace but for the community at large.
he majority of law firms that I consult with share that they understand the instrumental benefits that a diverse workforce brings to growing their practice, at the same time, there is still a low percentages of diversity within attorneys, especially at the partner levels.
The new year is a wonderful time to reflect on our endeavors and learn from the our past experiences, so at the start of 2019 I asked women around the globe to provide their advice for other women regarding professional advancement and personal growth. Here is a list of the top ten comments that we can benefit from.
“Professionally, know what you’re worth, prove it by earning it, and stand by getting paid for it.” Lynn Carro Daigle
“You are worthy! You are capable and highly favored. You got this!” kmwalker1570 on Instagram
“Believe in yourselfand don't be afraid to go after your dreams.” Tracy Cloud
“Roll with the Punches & Keep Eyes on the Prize” Astrid Clements
“Be you! Set high goals! Believe in yourself!” Mayra Pineda
“Spend less time on social media and more time actually living your life! Get outside and enjoy a walk with friends.” Amy Canard
“Use the word “sorry” only when you have something to be sorry for. Never hesitate to apologize when you are at fault, but don’t apologize for things that don’t warrant an apology!” Lindsey Wren Roussel
“Be kind to yourself and take care of your health. Do one thing every day to move forward your goals.” Shelly Dupre
“Strength is from your inner soul! You gotta let it shine through you.” Rodiena Nassereddine
“Stop saying yes to things that don’t serve you. You are worthy of saying noto those things.” Adaina Biggs
My advice to you is to enjoy your journey of professional growth, make time to laugh and be playful. Recognize that there will always be obstacles in your way and individuals that will try to discourage you. Expect these challenges and be determined to continue to rise higher and higher. Look back only to appreciate how much you have came along, smile with pride, and then take another step upward.
Whether your small business gathers for simple festivities or a large team pot-roast, it is a wonderful idea to utilize the holiday season to increase employee engagement, interpersonal communication, and overall office morale.
Incorporate some of these fantastic holiday party ideas for your next company function!
1. Holiday Mapping
Want to increase diversity and cultural awareness in your workplace? Here is a fun idea. Simply print out a large map of the world and place it on the floor. Throughout the activity, a leader asks a series of interactive, geography-oriented questions, prompting co-workers to travel to different places on the world map.
Question examples include:
Where are you spending the holidays?
Where is your dream place to travel during the winter season?
What holiday traditions would you like to learn more about?
Have fun with the questions and create your own. Use this interactive game to learn more about your team members, their diverse cultures, and holiday experiences!
2. HGTV Gingerbread Homes Edition
Love spending your winters cozied up on the couch watching your favorite HGTV shows? Bring the fun to your office holiday party with this entertaining game. Purchase (or make) a few gingerbread house kits for your co-workers. Divide the office into teams and race to create the most intricately designed gingerbread house. (This is great for large and small workplaces as teams of 3-4 can easily decorate a whole gingerbread house together while in larger offices, bigger groups can work on individual aspects of the home (Example: two individuals work on the walls while another three work on the roof) and put together their final product in the final seconds.) These activities spur moments of teamwork and insight creativity in the workplace.
At the end of the hectic house-building time period, line up the newly created gingerbread homes for judging. Encourage each team to present their creations in the style of an HGTV House Hunters reel. This funny and imaginative presentation is sure to bring a few smiles to your teammate’s faces. After each group has spoken, present a “SOLD” sticker or a similar award to the best home!
3. New Years Vision Board
If your workplace is looking for something more glamorous this season, consider a New Years themed function. With glitter and fancy outfits, this event wouldn’t be complete without some resolutions! Use this opportunity to highlight office objectives and individual goals for the upcoming year with a New Years Vision Board. If there is a large end goal in the upcoming future, make that the centerpiece of your vision board and utilize the room around it for your team’s gameplan. Create a cork board with enough space for everyone’s aspirations and encourage your team members to create and decorate sheets of paper with their future professional ambitions.
Once everyone has finalized their goal statements, begin placing each objective on the cork board. This can be followed with a short conversation about individual goals!
Bonus: Use a string to connect similar goals, encouraging teamwork and increased conversation in the upcoming year. By literally and metaphorically intertwining objectives, this activity will bring your team closer!
4. Multicultural Holiday Trivia Night
Does your office have a competitive drive? Try out a holiday trivia night featuring seasonal traditions from around the world! Assemble your work force into groups and keep track of points as you quiz them on the origins of Hanukkah, Tibetan holiday traditions, and the world’s Christmas delicacies. Through this activity, your office will grow more inclusive, learning more about diversity and culture.
Unsure where to find fun Holiday facts? Use links like these:
5. Memories Slideshow
While this last activity does not require immense audience participation like the previous few, creating a presentation that showcases the years achievements will surely increase morale in the workplace. The slideshow should highlight the companies achievements, individual successes, and fun moments from throughout the year. Feel free to edit in some holiday music and include funny pictures for some laughs in the crowd!
As the end of the year approaches, these activities provide a wonderful way to learn more about your team, form strong team bonds, and acknowledge the achievements of the past year. Make good use of this time to show your appreciation for your co-workers, and have a happy holiday season!
When I first moved to the US, one of the first phrases I heard that stuck with me was every eagle needs a push. Something about this phrase spoke to me, and it was later that I discovered the story behind it.
In the world of eagles, mama eagles build their nests at the tops of mountains to hatch and grow their eaglets. These young eagles grow in treacherous conditions, shrouded in mountain mist, foliage, and other wildlife while their mama stays nearby to protect them.
However, when it is finally time for them to learn how to spread their wings and learn how to fly, the mama eagle gathers her squawking eaglets, and one by one, with no warning, she pushes them off the mountain!
Now, you may be thinking, how cruel of the mother! But in reality, the initial push – as challenging, terrifying, and risky as it may be – is exactly what these eaglets need to develop sinewy, strong wing muscles and take flight.
In my coaching work, I meet people everyday that have been metaphorically trapped on their own mountaintops for many, many, many years, and they have not yet mustered the courage needed to build their wings and fly. They are haunted by fear, which results in them losing themselves and missing out on opportunities. Whether it’s through our own will or with the help of a coach, we need to push ourselves into the unknown.
For those of us in leadership roles, this lesson applies toward the teams we lead as well. Our team will thrive as long as we continue to push and challenge them into uncharted territory. As leaders, we need to be like the mama eagle. Imagine how scared she must feel when she pushes her babies off the mountain. She has to put immense trust in their capability to soar because it is the only way to empower them to discover their potential.
It may be frightening, but in the end, there is no greater feeling than the unbridled sensation of growth, so why not take the leap?
In this blog, Dima shares three unconventional ways that she has used to manage her fear of public speaking.
We have the power to determine our worth. It is time to stop putting ourselves down and realize the value, skills, and creativity that we each can bring to the workplace.
Let’s stop judging ourselves and asking for instant gratification, and instead let’s realize that building something meaningful and long-lasting does take time. By knowing this, we will find ourselves more motivated and willing to put in the work everyday.
In this blog Dima shares five tips that she found helpful in her journey. She hopes they inspire you to find what works for you in your own journey
In the workplace, many people lose touch with who they are in order to belong and have job security. But, what companies need more of is innovation, creative ideas, and differentiating themselves in the market. This does not happen if the employees seek to act normal and lose themselves.
Three topics important for engaging and retaining millennial women.