On February 12th, the Harvard Women’s Law Association (“WLA”) at Harvard Law School held its 9th Annual Conference titled, “Walking on Broken Glass: Redesigning Institutions After the Glass Ceiling.”
The WLA Conference is the premier event for women at Harvard Law School, a forum for reflecting on women’s goals in the legal profession, nationwide and internationally. This year’s conference focused on the women leaders who came after the initial “glass ceiling breakers,” and how this generation redesigned institutions to better provide others the possibility to thrive.
Juile Siegel, President of WLA, remarked “The Women’s Law Association has assembled a group of accomplished women from an array of backgrounds to help us confront the issues that often hold women back in the workplace and learn how to redesign large organizations to reverse that trend.”
Over the course of the day, the WLA aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the obstacles women face and the best practices for overcome these barriers. According to the organizers, true equal opportunity to succeed would enable more women to enhance and lead organizations at all levels.
Each of the conference’s three panels concentrated on a different topic: “Intersecting Identities: Promoting Diversity in the Workplace,” “The Bulletproof Glass Ceiling,” and “Implementing Equality: Advancing Women Through Organizational Change.” Through these panel discussions, the WLA fostered discussions surrounding issues that affect women not only in the legal profession but women working in sectors in various industries and organizations.
The panelists included, among others, Claudia L. Gordon, Chief of Staff for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; Marcy Engel, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Eton Park Capital Management, LP; Mandy Petrillo, Director of Legal Operations for the Boston Red Sox; Rhoda Weeks-Brown, Deputy Director in the Communications Department of the International Monetary Fund; Erin Vilardi, Founder and Director of VoteRunLead; Elizabeth Deeley, a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s San Francisco office; and Martha Minow, Dean of the Harvard Law School.
The writer is University of California, Berkeley, School of Law J.D. Candidate 2015