MMM’s Women’s Initiative was created with three simple goals in mind: (1) to enhance and strengthen the collegial bonds among the firm’s women attorneys, (2) to assist and promote business development by our women attorneys, and (3) to sponsor and involve more women attorneys in leadership roles both within and outside of the firm. To achieve these goals, MMM’s women partners hold events throughout the year to foster and promote these goals, including quarterly dinners with potential clients, get-togethers for all women attorneys and coaching with business development professionals. The Women’s Initiative is a crucial component in the retention of our women attorneys and in the promotion of MMM’s diversity to our clients and prospective clients.
Women have played an integral part in the path the firm has followed and are attributed with much of the success achieved in the last 36 years. To that end, the Women’s Initiative implemented the Women Mentorship Program to encourage and cultivate leadership of women at the firm. The firm was recognized in 2012 by Chambers & Partners, a highly-respected publisher of legal directories, for “Best Mentoring in a Law Firm” due to the program's success in increasing gender diversity awareness and mentoring opportunities.
Women Mentorship Program:
The Women Mentorship Program is designed to offer many things for young female attorneys:
- The mentor offers career guidance – both on legal skills and professional development.
- Her mentor offers career guidance and access to his or her client and professional contacts, brings her along on client meetings and eventually, ensures that she plays an active role in such meetings.
- The mentor facilitates her participation in collaborative projects to expose her to other decision-makers and partners at the firm.
- Perhaps most importantly, the MMM mentor serves as an advocate: someone with influence at the firm who will help her grow and campaign for her at the firm.
Though we recognize that camaraderie among female attorneys at the firm is crucial, we believe effective mentors can be either a man or a woman. We align mentors and mentees based on personality and practice area, not on age, sex or convenience. Mentors are appointed within six months of a new female associate’s start date. Because longevity is vital to the success of this program, considerable thought and evaluation go into selecting the appropriate mentor for a female associate. The mentor relationship is evaluated at the end of the first year.
Due to the involvement and dedication of our women attorneys, the Mentorship Program has seen significant results:
- Women now comprise 20 percent of the partnership. (In 2011, MMM set a goal to reach 20 percent by 2015. The firm was thrilled to make this accomplishment in only 12 months.)
- Women now comprise 20 percent of the firm’s management committee and forty percent of the firm’s executive committee.
- Thirty-eight percent of new partners hired or promoted in the last year were women.
- Women comprised thirty-five percent of new hires in the past year and over forty percent of the firm’s summer associates.