Schnader has a long history of women in prominent positions in the Firm. However, in 2010 two of its leading women, former Firm Managing Partner Diana S. Donaldson and New York Managing Partner and Executive Committee member M. Christine Carty began to look at effective methods to help the Firm's women attorneys understand and navigate their way to leadership roles.
The Firm began its women's initiative by reaching out to the women partners at all levels to discuss what women lawyers at all levels in the Firm needed to advance their career performance and leadership ability so that they could grow in the profession and at the Firm.
Many suggestions came from this exchange: professional-development help, advice on work/life issues, support for progression of women to partnership and in the early years after partnership, mentoring for business development, client networking events, alumni panels and in-house counsel forums.
As a result, the Firm began a women's initiative of mentoring and networking programs. Its women partners and associates meet in facilitated discussion groups, attend speaking engagements on various topics of interest, plan client networking events and enjoy social gatherings, which gives the Firm's women attorneys an opportunity to share challenges and successes and to learn from each other's experiences.
Women's Initiative Activities
Schnader regularly sponsors programs bringing women together to network and build relationships. Select past events of the Women's Initiative include:
Summer 2014 - Schnader’s Diversity Committee hosted a panel discussion regarding the ABA Presidential Task Force on Gender Equity’s recent reports “Closing the Gap” and “The Power of the Purse.” The presentation, titled “Gender Pay Equity in Compensation: Why it Matters – What to Do About It,” was open to all Schnader attorneys. Panelists included Roberta Liebenberg, R.P.C., chair of Fine, Kaplan and Black, Katherine Hatton, general counsel for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sophia Lee, chief counsel for litigation at Sunoco, and Susan Letterman White of Letterman White Consulting. Among the topics discussed were: challenges to achieving pay equity in law firms, effective practices for law firms, how clients can promote gender pay equity, and why general counsel should care about law firm pay equity.
Spring 2013 - Networking and mentoring lunch for the women attorneys of the Firm's Philadelphia and Cherry Hill offices.
Fall 2012 - Women attorneys in the legal profession were invited to a private reception at the new Barnes Foundation. Schnader was lead counsel for the Barnes Foundation during the hearings when the organization's trustees petitioned to deviate from the founding indenture and relocate the collection to Philadelphia.
Fall 2012 - The women attorneys in Schnader's New York office hosted an evening of networking with a private salon performance featuring women musicians from the American Classical Orchestra.
Winter 2011 - As part of our effort to support HIV/AIDS awareness and education in South Africa, the Women's Initiative sponsored a cocktail reception featuring a special short performance of "The Princess Who Cut Her Hair," an African folk tale performed by the Walnut Street Theatre. Also featured was handmade beaded jewelry by Thanda Zulu. Proceeds of the sale were donated to the Thanda After-School Project for orphans of AIDS and other vulnerable children in rural South Africa.
Fall 2011 - The women attorneys in Schnader's New York office hosted an evening of networking with a private performance by the Buglisi Dance Theatre.
Spring 2011 - Deena Jo Schneider participated in "Leaders of Philadelphia Area Women's Initiatives," hosted by the Women in the Profession Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association. The discussion sought to highlight ways to effectively use a women's initiative for career advancement and the general benefits of a successful women's initiative, including the potential for business development and networking opportunities, the opportunity for cross-training among peers, and the chance to share news and developments among the members of the group.
Schnader Women Receive Diversity Awards and Accolades
- Arlene Fickler received the Jewish Social Policy Action Network's Social Justice Award in 2010.
- Megan E. Harmon was selected as one of 2012's Most Powerful and Influential Women of Pennsylvania by the National Diversity Council.
- Theresa E. Loscalzo was selected as one of 2015's Most Powerful and Influential Women of Pennsylvania by the National Diversity Council.