Pepper Hamilton LLP has earned Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), a designation based on how firms compensate women and integrate them in top leadership positions. Pepper is one of only 50 firms to receive the certification from WILEF.
Firms with over 100 attorneys were invited to submit data to earn WILEF's Gold Standard Certification. The firms that were selected for certification were chosen based on the extent to which the firm has successfully made women equity partners, integrated women partners into its governance structure, and recognized the contributions of women through compensation.
“As a firm, we have long had a strong commitment to providing growth opportunities and leadership roles to our women attorneys,” according to Joan C. Arnold, chair of Pepper’s Tax Practice Group, and co-founder of Pepper’s Women Initiative Network (WIN!). “As a result, women have significant roles in the management of the firm, starting at the top, with the chair of the Executive Committee, Nina M. Gussack, who has served in that capacity since 2007.” Arnold says that Gussack, along with other female partners of the firm, lead by example in the areas of perfecting their craft, developing business, and mentoring those who follow them.
Arnold states that the firm also has improved the recruiting, training, retention and promotion of women though the work of WIN!, the goal of which is to continue to insure that Pepper is a place where women attorneys can be successful. “It is, however, the work of all of the lawyers at Pepper that has made a Gold Standard Certification possible,” says Arnold.
Maria A. Feeley, a partner in Pepper’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group and member of Pepper’s Women Initiative Network, agrees.
“Pepper is a leader not only with respect to its efforts to recruit women partners and associates, but also with respect to its commitment to retaining and promoting them,” says Feeley. “The firm’s mentoring and training initiatives, coupled with the continuing work of the Women’s Initiative and the Diversity Committee help to ensure that women are given the opportunities they need to reach their true potential and become leaders in the profession and within the firm.”
WILEF, founded in 2006, is dedicated to assisting women in law to assume leadership roles within the AmLaw 200 and Fortune 1000 legal departments and within their respective communities. WILEF presents cutting edge programming that provides an educational and networking forum for women in law.