S&C Co-Hosts Women in Law Discussion With Chambers

March 12, 2014
New York, New York

On March 12, Sullivan & Cromwell, in partnership with Chambers & Partners’ Women in Law series, hosted “Opting Up, Not Out: Achieving the Brass Ring and Beyond.” Lead by S&C partner Sharon L. Nelles, the program discussed how, when and why women raise careers in the law to the next level. Over the past few decades, the dialogue among women in the profession has focused on encouraging women into law, retaining women in law firms and moving women into equity partnership ranks, and achieving important positions in corporate America and government. We now have a generation of women who have succeeded in doing just that, prompting the questions: What else; what next? The program focused on women who have taken established and very successful careers another step.
Linda Bray Chanow,  Executive Director of the Center for Women in Law at The University of Texas School of Law, gave a keynote address on “Capitalizing on Our Power,” followed by a presentation from Céline Dufétel and Erica Nemser from McKinsey & Company on “Debunking the Myth of Female Complacency.” The discussion then opened to the panel which included:
Stacey Friedman – General Counsel, JPMorgan Chase’s Corporate & Investment Bank
Alison Gregory, Consultant, Financial Services Industry
Kim Koopersmith – Chairperson, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Jennifer Rochon – General Counsel, Girls Scouts of the USA
Hon. Saliann Scarpulla – New York State Supreme Court Judge, Commercial Division
Topics included:

  • Self-Promotion and Communication of Ambition*
  • “Valuing” Women – Monetary and Other Rewards
  • Power and Perception (Sacrifice, Clout and Communication)
  • Hitting Walls, Breaking Through Ceilings and Opting Up
  • Role of Confidence
  • Cultural Roadblocks
  • Gender Diversity Initiatives
  • Mentoring v. Sponsoring
  • Second Order Bias
Collective Responsibility for Raising Women in the Profession
*75% of women, a slightly higher share than men say they promote themselves and communication their ambitions to direct supervisors and others at the top. Women Matter 2012: Making the Breakthrough, March 2012, mckinsey.com.