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BTWomen strives to empower and elevate our female talent, helping them receive the acknowledgment and recognition they deserve.  

Elevating women in the legal profession 

BTWomen serves as a forum for Barnes & Thornburg’s female teammates to exchange ideas and experiences about our unique success journeys. We encourage our members to bring their whole selves to work each day, and provide a network of support to help them develop their careers and thrive both personally and professionally. 

We embrace the intersectional nature of gender equity and inclusion by partnering with other Barnes & Thornburg talent resource groups, like BTBlack, and by opening up conversations about equity to individuals and groups outside our own. In 2020, we began hosting discussions about gender norms and equity in the legal industry. These interactive events encourage conversation among colleagues at all levels in the firm through breakout rooms with guided small-group discussions.

“I want to continue to listen. I am finding that others have experienced life in ways that I have not nor have I even contemplated,” said John Routon, an associate, after attending one of the discussions on gender norms and equity.


Advocacy and support for our female colleagues

We cultivate relationships with women’s bar associations and community organizations, and assist with efforts to recruit and retain women at all levels in the firm. BTWomen was instrumental in Barnes & Thornburg enacting its enhanced parental leave policy in 2019, providing all firm employees with 16 weeks of parental leave at 100 percent pay. We also helped enact emergency backup care as a new benefit for employees – the need for which became acutely clear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the upkeep of those initiatives has now been passed on to other groups and teams within the firm, we achieved a powerful result. I still hear about it at least once a month from someone,” said Denise Lazar, BTWomen co-chair.

A few of our programs and community conversations:

  • Firmwide discussions on implicit biases and gender norms in the legal industry
  • Fireside chat with the general counsel of a global packaging company about the female success journey, overcoming obstacles, leveraging our uniqueness, and motivating other women
  • Panel discussion with women partners about practical steps and concrete actions to better prepare women attorneys to be considered for partnership

For information regarding BTWomen, please contact co-chairs Heather DelgadoDenise Lazar, and Kristen Richer.

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