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Leadership

Five Tips to Managing UP

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Five Tips to Managing UP

This blog discusses five tips to manage up and have influence over your manager.

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Managing Difficult Managers

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Managing Difficult Managers

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.

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D&I for Law Firms: Tips for Attracting Diverse Attorneys

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D&I for Law Firms: Tips for Attracting Diverse Attorneys

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. 

 

Scholarships

 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.

Mentorships

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.

Job Fairs

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 Outreach

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.

 

 

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Diversity & Inclusion for Law Firms

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Diversity & Inclusion for Law Firms

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.

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You Are Like Bamboo

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You Are Like Bamboo

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.

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Three Tips for Retaining Millennial Women

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Three Tips for Retaining Millennial Women

Three topics important for engaging and retaining millennial women.

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My Shocking Unconscious Bias

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My Shocking Unconscious Bias

It is so crucial that we open our minds, become aware of our own biases, and realize how they are impacting our perceptions of others. Most importantly we must continue to be intentional on a daily bases to eliminate these biases.

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Stop Saying Sorry

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Stop Saying Sorry

We need to be intentional in using words that do not lower our value. The next time you catch yourself apologizing for no reason, take a moment, think, and rather than saying “sorry”, simply state the facts.

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What Motivates the Millennials

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What Motivates the Millennials

Survey results with the top factors that are important for engaging the Millennials at work. 

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 Main Characteristic Per Generation

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 Main Characteristic Per Generation

Each generation has its unique characteristics, this blog lists that main qualities per generation. 

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Interesting Statistics Related to The Generations at Work

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Interesting Statistics Related to The Generations at Work

Statistics that give an overview of the generations in the workplace.

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Four Reasons why Millennials Job-Hop

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Four Reasons why Millennials Job-Hop

Four reasons for why Millennials leave their jobs—none of which deal with compensation—and it’s critical for employers to be aware of these reasons in order to address them.

 

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5 Tips to Engage Generation Z [INFOGRAPHIC]

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5 Tips to Engage Generation Z [INFOGRAPHIC]

Learn how to engage the next generation of the workforce with these 5 tips.

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How Not to Lead a Team Climbing a Volcano - Part 1

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How Not to Lead a Team Climbing a Volcano - Part 1

Just as important as how to lead is how NOT to lead.  Follow along on a trek up Mt. Fuji and discover the difference.

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Transforming Dream into Reality

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Transforming Dream into Reality

Believing in yourself is easier said than done.  But when you do, those beliefs of who you are and what you're destined for can become reality.

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Is Success Really what We are Striving for?

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Is Success Really what We are Striving for?

Have you struggled to define success in your life and career?  Too often we set these definitions and refuse to let them grow with us.

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We March Together

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We March Together

Now is the time for women to invest in themselves and to help other women reach their potential.  Don't just march once.  March each and every day.

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Tips for Networking

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Tips for Networking

DimaGhawi.com

Originally published by The Baton Rouge Business Report.

OK ladies, let’s talk about networking. We all know that hard work and dedication to “the company” simply aren’t enough. Building mutually beneficial and trustful relationships opens new doors that expedite career and business growth. The good news is that as women, we naturally gravitate toward building such meaningful relationships. The secret is to integrate it as part of our daily work and career goals.

Seven tips that I learned over the years and found helpful:

  1. Every conversation is an opportunity to form a new connection. We are networking daily with every interactionwith co-workers, neighbors, and even when standing in line at the grocery store. In addition to meeting new people, it is critical to nurture existing relationships by staying in touch and always offering support. Focus on what you can contribute to your existing and new connections instead of just what you need their help with.
  2. Define your career goals and create your networking plan. Identify what you want to achieve in the next X number years, then start establishing meaningful business relationships that would help you along the way.
  3. Create a quarterly networking plan that specifies the professional meetings, email follow-ups, a list of people you want to schedule phone calls with or invite for coffee at Magpie. Make it a habit to mark these plans on your calendar and give them a priority.
  4. Network with decision makers within your company. Many employees are unfamiliar with other areas of the business outside their core team. Periodically, identify a manager from a different department and request a 30-minute one-on-one introduction meeting. Prepare questions to learn about the manager’s role and background and the department’s mission. This will enable you to develop a cross-functional understanding of the business while building new strategic relationships. Most managers are usually happy to help and appreciate the curiosity.
  5. Social media is a powerful tool for network expansion. Repurposing just a few minutes of your Instagram or Facebook time can really pay off. LinkedIn has groups for every aspect of business that attract individuals globally with a similar focus. Get engaged in group discussions, provide comments, post ideas and virtually meet other members. Take the opportunity to evolve the most promising virtual contacts by scheduling a phone call or meet them in person if they live close.
  6. Volunteering and supporting a cause you are passionate about is also an effective and less intimidating way for meeting like-minded people. Volunteers are brought together by a common interest, which makes it easier to start conversations and connect while giving back to the community.
  7. Find opportunities to introduce your existing contacts to each other that have similar interests and backgrounds. Being the connector not only feels good, but it also will ultimately strengthen your core network and expand it.

Now, when you hear the words “networking event,” the first image that may come to your mind is a huge bright room, filled with strangers, all professionally dressed and wearing name tags, forming small discussion circles, and exchanging well-rehearsed elevator pitches followed by colorful rectangular business cards. As you walk in, you carefully scan the room nervously hoping to find a familiar face, and wondering how to join in one of the group discussions. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Seven tips for navigating at networking events:

  1. Some may recommend attending these events alone to motivate you to meet new people, which has merit. But, let’s face it, if you are not comfortable with attending alone, don’t miss out completely!Invite a co-worker to go with you. A familiar face can be comforting as long as you both focus on supporting each other to meet new contacts while networking together.
  2. Arrive early. This gives you the opportunity to meet and connect in a smaller group before everyone else arrives. It is less intimidating than entering a crowded room and trying to break into an ongoing conversation.
  3. Attend events with topics that excite you, and participate because of your desire to learn. This will reduce the stress related to networking. Instead, meeting new people with similar interests becomes a byproduct.
  4. Have a professional business handshake. Make it firm while maintaining eye contact. Your handshake is critical for building a good first impression and demonstrating confidence.
  5. Be present, listen, ask questions and show genuine curiosity to learn about the people you meet. Silence two distractions: the cellphone ringing in your purse, and the internal voice wondering “who should I talk to next.”
  6. Follow up within two days with the new contacts that you want to stay in touch with. Send them a personalized email, or even mail a hand-written letter. Send a LinkedIn connection request and include a lagniappe of an article or a resource that is related to the discussion you had.
  7. Enjoy yourself and have fun.

Men and women alike, we all know that we prefer to do business with people that we like and trust. Professional networking is how we get there. These tips use the power of connection to add value to your meaningful relationships and encourage you to be generous in offering help. Use a mix of networking methods that fit your personality. Be diligent and align your networking plan with your career goals. Most importantly, enjoy the process and make new friends.

For more information about Dima's leadership speaking, training, and coaching, visit DimaGhawi.com

 

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Dima Ghawi with Shawn Shudershan Chabra

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Dima Ghawi with Shawn Shudershan Chabra

Dima joins "Winning the Game of Life" host, Shawn Shudershan Chabra, to share her powerful story and insight in this video.

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Bridging Distance and Embracing Diversity

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Bridging Distance and Embracing Diversity

Master the global marketplace with the ability to communicate and work across cultural lines.

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