London – March 4, 2015 – Cooley associate Sascha Grimm was a featured spokesperson at London's 2015 Global Law Summit, addressing the pressing issue of gender diversity in the legal profession. The event brought together, delegates from law firms, governments and businesses convened to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and to debate a variety of law-related topics.
As co-founder and chair of Women in Law London, Grimm participated in a panel session on February 23 entitled ‘Women in Law: the pipeline is broken. Why this matters, and what can be done.' The session focused on gender diversity in the legal sector and the lack of women's representation at senior levels.
Chaired by Catrin Griffiths, editor of The Lawyer, the session opened with a live poll of the audience, which revealed that 64% of the audience believed that women do not have as good a chance as men in reaching senior levels of leadership in law. Grimm, quoted in The Times, suggested that "Women junior lawyers build a picture in their minds that it will be impossible to become a partner and to have a family."
The panel's discussion was positive and energetic, addressing solutions to the lack of representation at senior levels. Ideas put forward included reverse mentoring, unconscious bias training, informing clients of job sharing initiatives, promoting positive stories of women at senior level and making gender targets part of the business's key metrics.
"Managements need to wipe all assumptions about the women in front of them," Grimm added, "and start afresh with new conversations focused on changing the rhetoric around gender diversity in the legal profession from a negative to a positive one." It was noted that 97% of the audience agreed that having more equal representation at the top of the profession would improve competitiveness and sustainability.
"Sascha is truly among the leaders in the UK who have taken up the cause of diversifying the legal profession through greater inclusion of, and opportunities for, women" said New York-based partner and Cooley Women's Initiative chair, Shira Nadich Levin. "I look forward to collaborating with Sascha and our London colleagues, particularly in light of their energetic commitment to the advancement of women. I am confident that they and Cooley Women's Initiative will each benefit the other in this important work."
Grimm is a London-based associate in Cooley's commercial litigation department.
About Women in Law London
Women in Law London (WILL) is a network aimed at women lawyers of all pre-partnership experience, both in private practice and in-house. Set up by five associates from UK and US law firms in London WILL is a network "by associates, for associates," dedicated to tackling the poor retention rate of women in the legal profession. WILL also encourages partners and general counsel to sign up as "Champions" and attend events and support initiatives.
Diversity at Cooley
For Cooley, true workplace diversity goes beyond hiring people from a variety of backgrounds. It offers all employees the tools, training and mentoring they need to succeed. The firm embraces the importance of diversity in our client teams, and enables every individual to balance work and family obligations.
About Cooley LLP
Cooley's lawyers solve legal issues for entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and established companies. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation, often where innovation meets the law.
Cooley has 850 lawyers across 12 offices in the United States, China and Europe.