Reed Smith Leads With WINRS

Grace Gallagher, for GPA -- Global Philadelphia member Reed Smith LLP is a leading international law firm with a storied history of accomplishments. One of its greatest to date may be The Women’s Initiative Network of Reed Smith (WINRS).

As WINRS is a “growing global community of lawyers,” this network is fully dedicated to diversifying the workplace by engaging and attracting women lawyers. While the national average of female partners is only 17.3 percent, Reed Smith is consistently above this rate.

According to members of Reed Smith’s Philadelphia office, the main objective of the WINRS is to fully develop and advance the position of women. With females making up 21 percent of partners there, it is clear that this goal is being achieved.

In furthering its developmental objective, working groups from the WINRS direct focus on six elements: business development, pipeliners, training, mentoring, recruiting and work/life balance. Through education, training, mentoring and networking opportunities, WINRS programs are being conducted to further advance the career opportunities for women.

True to its commitment, the WINRS has successfully engaged these practices. Reed Smith is proudly home to 729 female lawyers, which accounts for 40 percent of all lawyers at the firm.

Sandra Di Iorio, a senior associate in Reed Smith's Commercial Litigation Group and the Co-Vice Chair of the WINRS in the Philadelphia office, explained that exceeding 30 percent of female representation is a threshold that the firm should strive to meet in order for women to have what she refers to as a “meaningful voice.”

Women throughout the firm are continuing to have this voice because they consist of more than 21 percent of the total partnership, nearly 45 percent of all counsel and more than 55 percent of all associates. Adding to these prominent figures, more than 22 percent of the leadership positions are now held by women and they make up 38 percent of the Compensation and Promotion Committee at the firm.

These remarkable accomplishments have received distinguished attention by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF). For four consecutive years, Reed Smith LLP has been selected for the WILEF’s exclusive “Gold Standard Certification.”

“The WILEF certification is a proud and significant milestone to strive to meet,” said Melissa Rubenstein, Council and Co-chair of The Women’s Initiative Network in the Reed Smith Philadelphia office

To receive this select certification, a firm must notably fulfil at minimum three of six conditions that express determination and emphasize the advancement of careers and leadership roles attained by women.

Since the inception of the Gold Standard Certification, there have only been two firms that have ever met all six of the standards. Reed Smith is proudly one of these select firms.

The Women’s Initiative Network of Reed Smith has achieved some very remarkable advancements throughout its offices worldwide; however, it is important to note that while the focus is centered on women within the firm, Rubenstein says the Philadelphia office does have an important impact on the larger community. She explained that this impact is an “outward-facing goal” of the institution.

During the holiday season, WINRS in the Philadelphia office participates in the Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family. Through the program, it presents food and gifts to a family in need while also providing hope and compassion. Whether it is in or out of the office, The Women’s Initiative Network of Reed Smith has made considerable accomplishments.

Image courtesy of Reed Smith.