Global law firm Dorsey & Whitney is the recipient of the 2010 SAGE Best Practices award, given by the Legal Profession Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association. The SAGE award recognizes the efforts of law firms in the recruiting, hiring and development of women attorneys.
SAGE, which stands for “Self-Audit for Gender Equity,” is an initiative of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Women in the Legal Profession Committee, which surveyed law firms, corporations and government entities to determine “best practices” for the hiring, retention, and promotion of women in the legal profession.
An in-depth analysis of the survey results identified best practices in six key areas: equal access, workday issues, governance, evaluation/promotion, retention, and compensation. In each area, the Committee identified specific steps that employers could take. The SAGE Award winners are those employers who have implemented these practices and achieved measurable successes.
Dorsey adopted the SAGE Best Practices in 2004 and since then has instituted a number of programs and policies to attract, develop and retain women attorneys. Dorsey Diversity Steering Committee Co-Chair Sarah Herman said: “Adopting these best practices has contributed to improved retention and promotion of women lawyers in the firm. Lawyers who might otherwise have left the firm have stayed and expressed strong satisfaction with their flexible work arrangements and the firm because of our flexibility.”
Today, 51% of Dorsey’s associates are women and 48% of senior associates are women. Of the 43 new Dorsey partners promoted in the past three years, 22 were women and a third have had flexible work arrangements during their Dorsey careers, including at the time of promotion.
The SAGE Award further cements Dorsey’s reputation as a great place for women, as it follows recognition from Working Mother magazine, which, three years in a row, named Dorsey to its annual “Best Law Firms for Women” list. Dorsey also received the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.