The Women's Initiative Committee (WIC) seeks to enhance the experience of women lawyers at the Firm and to support the Firm’s efforts to recruit, retain, and advance our women lawyers: (1) by focusing on women’s professional development; and (2) through networking and mentoring opportunities. A few examples of the events that the WIC organizes are:
 
  • Speaker Events – The WIC hosts guest speakers and panel discussions on a variety of issues of interest to lawyers at the Firm.
     
    • As part of the “S&C Celebrates Diversity” speaker series, the WIC hosted Kim Azzarelli, founder of Seneca Women, co-founder and chair of Cornell Law School’s Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, and co-author of FAST FORWARD: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose. Camille Orme introduced Ms. Azzarelli and moderated the discussion in which Ms. Azzarelli talked about her career path and how her experience strengthened her commitment to advocacy for women and girls. The program concluded with a Q&A session and a reception. As part of this series the WIC also co-hosted with the Firm’s Diversity Committee, Carla Harris, vice chairman of Global Wealth Management and senior client adviser at Morgan Stanley, and author of Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace. Prior to introducing Ms. Harris, Rodge Cohen spoke on the importance of diversity and inclusion in today’s society and S&C’s ongoing commitment to diversity initiatives and programming. Ms. Harris’s discussion focused on her experiences in the financial management industry and her advice for building a successful career. The program concluded with a Q&A session, closing remarks by Tracy Richelle High and a reception where autographed copies of Ms. Harris’s book were distributed.
       
    • The WIC hosted a discussion with Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal in the New York office. Baroness Scotland was the first black woman to be named Queens Counsel, and the first woman and first black person to be appointed attorney general in the United Kingdom since the creation of the position in 1315. Baroness Scotland discussed her many accomplishments, including her work in creating the U.K. Bribery Act, viewed by some as the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the world. She also discussed the economic and human impact of domestic violence, and how she was able to reduce the rate of domestic violence in the United Kingdom by 64 percent while attorney general. Baroness Scotland recently founded the Global Foundation to Eliminate Domestic Violence, which she expects to be operative in the United States in 2013.
       
    • The WIC co-hosted with the Firm’s Diversity Committee, Mona Sutphen, former White House deputy chief of staff in the Obama administration and current head of Macro Analysis at UBS, as part of the “S&C Celebrates Diversity” speaker series. Ms. Sutphen’s discussion focused on the current economic and political landscape in the United States, its global position and her perspective on how the country can regain its position as a global leader. Ms. Sutphen also signed copies of her book, The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise.
       
    • The WIC co-hosted with the LGBT Network a conversation with New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is the first woman and first openly gay official elected to that position. Speaker Quinn has been credited with the passage of the Clinic Access Bill, which protects women from being harassed or intimidated at reproductive health clinics, and the Safe Housing Act, which requires landlords to repair dangerous or unsafe apartments.
       
    • The WIC hosted a conversation with Dr. Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Coleman talked about current events in the Middle East and about the complex and emerging roles of Muslim women in contemporary society as described in her book, Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East.
       
  • Bar Association Events – The Firm encourages participation in bar association committees and events to support our lawyers’ professional development. For several years, a group of women lawyers has attended the New York City Bar Association’s (“NYCBA”) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture on Women and the Law. The WIC also frequently sponsors NYCBA women general counsel panel discussions. In addition, the Firm also supports the Women’s Bar Association of D.C. and the Women’s Bar Association Foundation.
     
  • Networking Events – The WIC plans occasional networking activities for women lawyers, such as dinners and receptions at partners’ homes. In honor of Women’s History Month, the WIC has hosted alumnae panel discussions and receptions, and has also hosted the YWCA’s Women History Month Panel. In addition, women partners in S&C’s Washington, D.C. office frequently host dinners for the women lawyers in that office.
     
  • Welcome Receptions – Each summer, the WIC hosts a welcome dinner for women summer associates and all women lawyers in the New York office. The WIC also hosts a welcome breakfast each fall for incoming women associates and women partners in the New York office. The breakfast provides an opportunity for new associates to meet the women partners and for the partners to share experiences from their own lives and careers.
     

S&C Women in Firm Leadership
As of January 1, 2016, the Firm had elected 37 partners worldwide in the prior six years; 8 of these partners are women. Women partners also hold several leadership positions in the Firm, including serving on the Firm’s Management Committee and other committees. In addition, women serve as the heads of many practice groups and practice areas. For instance, women head or co-head the Firm’s Litigation Group, Alternative Investment practice, Antitrust practice, Asia practice, California practice, Sovereign Issuers practice, Private Equity practice, Technology, Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions practice.


Community Development
The Firm supports several charitable organizations that assist girls and women. Some examples are:
 

  • The New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF) – The Firm purchases several tables at NYWF’s Annual “Celebrating Women®” Breakfast each year and invites a group of women clients and S&C lawyers. In addition, several women lawyers participated on behalf of the Firm in the Foundation’s “10th Annual Girls’ Leadership Day.” S&C lawyers also support NYWF through their board membership and committee participation.
     
  • Sanctuary for Families – The Firm is a long-time supporter of Sanctuary for Families, which is the leading nonprofit in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children. S&C lawyers actively support the organization through their pro bono work: through the Bronx Family Justice Center Project, S&C lawyers screen and represent victims of domestic violence; and S&C lawyers and legal assistants assist immigrants, many of whom are victims of domestic violence, with their eligibility for visas and work permits through the U Visa Project. In addition, S&C lawyers and their spouses have served for many years as members of the Sanctuary for Families Board of Directors, and the Firm and many S&C lawyers have financially supported Sanctuary for Families’ annual “Zero Tolerance” benefit dinner. S&C has been honored with the "Sanctuary for Families Law Firm Leadership Award."
     
  • Dress for Success® “Share Your Success” Gala and “Women Helping Women” Breakfast – S&C supports Dress for Success, an international nonprofit organization that helps disadvantaged women achieve economic independence. An S&C partner is a Dress for Success board member, and the Firm has been a major sponsor of both their “Share Your Success” Gala and “Women Helping Women” Breakfast events for the past several years. In addition, the WIC co-hosts an annual reception with a client’s affinity group for women, which served as a kick-off for weeklong clothing drives at both organizations to benefit Dress for Success.
     
  • Legal Momentum’s Annual “Aiming High” Luncheon – The Firm has supported this annual event for the last few years. Legal Momentum is the oldest nonprofit legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy.
     
  • Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA) – S&C has sponsored ABWA’s anniversary gala dinner and hosted an ABWA dinner for law firm associates at S&C’s New York office. S&C also supports ABWA through board and regular membership, as well as participation in ABWA events.
     

Family Matters
S&C offers a number of programs and policies with the goal of helping all our lawyers to balance their professional and personal needs. These benefits include paid parental leave (including maternity, adoption, and paternity leave), backup child care facilities, an infant transition program, alternative work or “flex-time” schedules, and same-sex domestic-partner benefits.

Awards and Recognitions

  • S&C was awarded the "Most Innovative International Firm Award" at the inaugural Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards in New York City. The Firm was recognized for its unique programs, including the Floor Wizard mentoring program, professional development speaker series, and adoption benefits.
     
  • MultiCultural Law magazine has named S&C to its annual list of the “Top 100 Law Firms for Women” for several of the last four years during which these rankings were published. 
To see additional honors S&C has received for its diversity and inclusion efforts, see Diversity and Inclusion Recognitions.