Women LEAD Committee
Allison Fihma Drachman, Chair
Schnader has a long history of women in prominent positions in the firm. In 2010 two of its leading women, former firm Managing Partner Diana S. Donaldson 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. They began by reaching out to women at all levels to discuss what female lawyers in the firm needed to do in order to advance their career performance and leadership abilities.
Many suggestions came from this exchange: professional-development support, 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 an initiative now called Women LEAD (Women Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development). Its women lawyers meet in facilitated discussion groups, attend speaking engagements on various topics of interest, plan client networking events, enjoy social gatherings and collaborate with their colleagues to advance the firm’s women attorneys, all of which provide an opportunity to share challenges and successes and to learn from each other’s experiences.
Women LEAD Activities
Schnader regularly sponsors programs bringing women together to network and build relationships. Recent events include:
- A networking reception, attended by over 60 of Schnader women lawyers and their guests, at One Liberty Observation Deck, overlooking Center City, Philadelphia.
- An evening of art and wine tasting featuring local female artists at The Print Center in Philadelphia.
- Held at the Cosmopolitan Club in New York, a conversation with the CEO of Cissé, a women-owned business that imports fair trade, organic cocoa from a farmer’s cooperative in the Dominican Republic.
- Reception and tour of the collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.
- Networking reception for women in higher education at Barbuzzo, a highly-acclaimed, women-owned restaurant in Philadelphia.
- In honor of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, a celebration featuring madrigals performed by a women’s ensemble and commentary by a Shakespearean scholar.
- Reception, student performances, and a tour of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Schnader Women Receive Diversity Awards and Accolades
- Arlene Fickler received the Jewish Social Policy Action Network’s Social Justice Award, and was honored by Temple Beth Zion – Beth Israel for her leadership and guidance.
- Three of our attorneys, Megan E. Harmon, Theresa E. Loscalzo, and Jo Bennett, have been honored as among the National Diversity Council’s Most Powerful and Influential Women of Pennsylvania.