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THE ‘WHY’ OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Our Diversity and Inclusion Publication SEPTEMBER 2018











The ‘Why’ of Diversity and Inclusion I am constantly challenging my children (indeed, anyone who will give me the privilege of their time) to find and hold onto their “why” (i.e., the core reason for doing what they are doing). Not knowing our “why” breeds discontent. Famed author and leadership expert John Maxwell says it like this, “Unhappiness is not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it.” Not knowing (or losing sight of) the “why” of diversity and inclusion leads to a similar dissatisfying end. In fact, there is this concept in diversity and inclusion work called “diversity fatigue.” Formal definitions abound but in its simplest form, diversity fatigue is when people get to the point where they are sick and

tired of talking about diversity and inclusion and working toward change. I believe such manifests when the focus is more on numbers, lists…on box checking, than on building people (which incidentally, is my “why”). So we are so excited about this installment of All In. First, we get to introduce you to our new logo plus a new look, feel and flow that we hope better tracks the substance and personality of our elevated platform. Second, and most exciting, in conjunction with sharing with you some of what we have been up to on the diversity and inclusion front as we continue our pursuit of better, we also get to hear from some of our talent (our people), about their “why” as it pertains to this important diversity and inclusion work. From one of our 1L Diversity Scholars who organized a firm program to support his fellow students, to one of our partners who led an office-wide celebration in honor of Autism Speaks and her beautiful autistic daughter, we think you will be inspired by the stories that follow. Certainly, we hope that they serve to remind you (remind us all) “why” this work is important and fires us up just a bit, to keep us moving aggressively forward toward true change.



• We strive to reflect the clients we serve and the communities in which we have the privilege to practice law. • We define, promote, and embrace diversity broadly to foster authentic inclusion. • Our commitment to diversity and inclusion permeates every aspect of how we conduct business. • We are responsible stewards of our resources, taking care to use our influence, brand, purchasing power, and thought leadership to drive diversity and inclusion growth outside the walls of our firm. • We proactively seek out and pursue opportunities to better support, empower, and promote our talent. • We continuously look for innovative solutions to remain effective, relevant, and in tune with our clients’ values and business objectives.


KEY Sponsorship, Integration and Culture are the three pillars of our diversity and inclusion platform. Look for these icons throughout to tell you which platform focus is being featured. And when you see the calendar icon, you’re looking at a feature highlighting our Celebration of Our Diversity initiatives. Enjoy!

Empowering our talent

Aligning business with values.


To align the business of diversity and inclusion so fully with the business of the firm that top talent from all backgrounds see Barnes & Thornburg as both the preferred destination and national standard relative to excellence, inclusive engagement, and empowerment in action. We will only realize this vision with true commitment and deliberate action from all of us.

Cultivating inclusion



To position all of our talent to win – individually, collectively, and for our clients.


Training to Win

Virtually every industry and/ or client survey to which we respond asks us about whether we conduct diversity and inclusion training for our organization. This is so because, without question, training tracks commitment. Here, we think “how� one trains, even more so. Indeed, athletes preparing

for important competitions maximize their potential by training smart and hard. While not an athletic competition, building an inclusive and respectful work environment is one of the most important endeavors we undertake every day. Logically it makes sense for us to train smart and hard for this important task.

Thus on June 11, 2018, we launched a reimagined approach to firmwide diversity and inclusion training. Instead of the more traditional one-time presenter approach, we have structured a market-by-market training effort. Our “why” here: to maximize engagement, foster interaction,

promote authenticity and drive the retention of information and ultimately, of our talent. Translation: to be the best Barnes & Thornburg we can be.

Initiatives. We kicked things off in our Minneapolis office and have now hosted training in Los Angeles and Indianapolis as well.

The training is entitled, Beyond Diversity 101: Micro-inequities, Implicit Bias, and Moving Toward Equity and is led by Anne Phibbs of Strategic Diversity

Given the uniqueness of each of our 14 markets, the goal is to have these courageous conversations in each one of them.

Check out what some have had to say:

Beyond Diversity 101

Training to Win

“Understandable, on-point and relevant” “Anne used very relatable every-day examples that we all see, so it pertained to all of us. She was also gently insistent that we get a little uncomfortable, because that’s how real discussion and change and understanding can come about.”


Thankfully, so far so good. Chicago is next on October 4 with the rest of training taking place in 2019.

Meet Our 2018 Indy and Indianapolis 1L Diversity Scholarship Recipients


Deliberate Recruiting Results in a Diverse Team Deliberately cultivating a robust pipeline of diverse talent is a critical step toward achieving a workforce reflective of the clients and communities we serve and that is consistent with our values. Our 1L Diversity Scholars initiative is just one way we seek to accomplish this goal.

Sahara Williams, P.E. 2018 Indianapolis 1L Diversity Scholar

Sahara Williams, P.E., now a second-year law student at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, is an engineer by trade and former business owner. She served in the firm’s summer associate program in Indianapolis. Cristina Alma McNeiley, now a second-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology, earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in criminology from Butler University in Indianapolis, where she served as the director of diversity and inclusion for the Student Government Association, president of the Pre-Law Society, student ambassador for the university’s admissions office and was a worker and intern at the Indiana Legal Services Inc. Immigrants & Language Rights Center. Cristina

participated in the firm’s summer associate program in Chicago. Both were chosen as our 2018 Diversity Scholarship Recipients last spring. Both are returning to the firm in 2019 for a second summer. We asked Sahara and Cristina to share why this opportunity and focus on diversity and inclusion matters to them. In their own words:

I feel my role in diversity and inclusion efforts is twofold. First, my presence as a black American woman is important because my experiences have been different than those of others, and my differences add a unique perspective to any situation. Second, I have always believed that once I make it to a certain level or get into a certain space or position, I then have a responsibility to create space for others, specifically for other black and minority people. Over my career, which has been as an engineer and owning my own business, I have often been the only black or the only woman in the room. My response has typically been to stay engaged, do well, show others that I do belong, and then to expose other minorities to that same scenario. The goal is that the next minority to be “in the room” won’t be alone and “the room” will be the better for it.

Cristina Alma McNeiley 2018 Chicago 1L Diversity Scholar

My “why” is simple. My “why” is because I want to be a beacon of hope to the generations of young girls after me – who might look like me or come from the same background as me – to understand and see that they deserve to be here too. Latinas comprise only 1.9 percent of associates and 0.4 percent of partners in law firms. I want young Latinas to know that we belong here, and for others in the legal profession to see it too. During my time at Barnes & Thornburg, I have seen how diversity and inclusion truly matters to the firm. I feel beyond blessed knowing that I have had the opportunity to work at a firm that values my beliefs, my opinions, and my background.”

Sahara Williams was recently also awarded a $2,500 IndyBar Diversity Job Fair Scholarship, which is sponsored each year by Barnes & Thornburg. Angela B. Freeman (left) of the Indianapolis office, a former IndyBar Diversity Job Fair scholarship recipient herself, presented the scholarship to Sahara during the IndyBar Diversity and the Law Luncheon in August. Ladene Mendoza (right) of the Indianapolis office attended the luncheon and interviewed IndyBar Diversity Job Fair candidates, along with Rubin Pusha of the Indianapolis office. Barnes & Thornburg was a gold sponsor for this annual event, where our Director of Diversity, Dawn Rosemond of the Fort Wayne office presented and moderated a panel discussion on networking and interview tips.


Our 1L Diversity Scholarship is open to first-year law students who demonstrate a commitment to contributing meaningfully to the diversity and inclusion goals of Barnes & Thornburg and to the legal profession.

Growing Our Firm By Developing and Empowering Our People


Our diversity and inclusion and legal personnel administration teams remain busy with the launch of the firm’s professional development program, VISION, which aims to complement the substantive training provided by the departments and contribute to the wholesale development and empowerment of the firm’s most valuable asset. The new sponsorship program under VISION entitled “Project Keymaker” (named after the fictitious character in The Matrix movies who used his many “keys” to affect end-runs around obstacles and provide access to doorways leading to success), is our fun and signature way of defining our very serious effort to deliberately care for our talent by seeking to remove barriers and to provide key access to opportunities. Unbound by department and geographic lines, more than 125 Protégé to Keymaker pairings have now been forged under the new Project Keymaker initiative. See what some of our Keymakers and Protégés have to say:

I think it has been a great experience so far in not only helping further my career within the firm, but also getting to know an attorney in another office that can help me along the way. My Keymaker and I have gone at our own pace and based on where I am with work and projects I have. My Keymaker has been great in answering questions, giving me different ideas and different insights into ways that I can develop as an attorney and here at Barnes & Thornburg. I think the program fills an important need, and I like that it pairs attorneys from different offices and departments who might not otherwise have a chance to interact regularly. The best thing is that we both are committed to the process and to working together on it. While I am a Keymaker, I have learned so much from my Protégé. I am getting so much out of it as well. We are exploring ways to market together and learning more about opportunities at Barnes & Thornburg. It is a great way to get to know someone in another office better and really help guide them through what it is to be successful at Barnes & Thornburg.

Finding a home at Barnes & Thornburg

I remember the coldness of that January day cutting across my 6-year-old face. I shivered in clothing unfit for Chicago’s cruel winters – clinging to my younger sister and mother after the emotional turmoil of leaving behind our loved ones in the Dominican Republic to reunite with my father. I distinctly remember that I did not want to be here. I did not want to leave my country’s warm embrace or the familiar sounds and sights of my small town. Yet my parents wanted more for us – and so they left behind much of what they most loved in search of the American Dream. My father, an agricultural engineer, worked his way up every imaginable position in the hotel and restaurant industry until finally becoming a hospital kitchen’s chef. My mother, a college professor, likewise

Diversity and inclusion should be uncomfortable or it is not honest. It should feel like hard work or it is not visionary. Given this backdrop, it is no surprise that from an early age, I was keenly aware of my differences – whether for good or for bad. These differences made me unique and as I grew older, I embraced them fully. Participating in Latino/a dance groups in high school, taking advanced Spanish language literature classes, volunteering in low-income and minority (often Spanish-speaking) communities and taking leadership roles in Latino/a and Black organizations in high school, college, law school and beyond. Yet at every step I was painfully aware that I was so often the only one. Or one of a few in the room that carried my experiences and my world view in their own hearts.


Gray Mateo-Harris, a new lateral partner in our Chicago office, shares why putting down roots is so important to her, and how she feels she’s found a home at Barnes & Thornburg:

labored at laundromats, factories and hotels – cleaning rooms for guests who rarely if ever looked like her. They had only working English – and could not help us navigate the Chicago Public School system. However, they instilled in me humility, a strong work ethic, a passion for education, a strong sense of gratitude for our good fortune, and a deep appreciation for my roots. Above all else, we were loved. No matter how many times we cried because we could not communicate in school given the English-only immersion policies. Or how many times we came home questioning our beauty, our worth, our sense of belonging because someone had made us feel inferior, different, or other. Each time our parents would build us up and reinforce that we were beautiful, intelligent, kind and worthy.

For me, diversity and inclusion means actively and intentionally choosing not to forget my roots or my communities. And more importantly, not being asked to forget my roots or my communities. And going further, being encouraged to bring my authentic self to work, because true diversity and inclusion values and appreciates diversity while recognizing and requiring the inclusion of all silenced voices.

Diversity and inclusion should be uncomfortable or it is not honest. It should feel like hard work or it is not visionary. Whether through my varied leadership roles, my efforts to cultivate business from a varied and diverse client base that reflects my own network and experiences, or my commitment to recruit, mentor and uplift talent at all levels so that our legal community can better reflect the vibrant and diverse city of Chicago.


It is apparent to me that Barnes & Thornburg was not looking for its diversity and inclusion efforts to merely serve as a publicity tool.

Barnes & Thornburg embraces my view of diversity and inclusion. It’s unique commitment leaves no doubt that the firm is “all in” on diversity and is positioned to take concrete and real steps towards continuing to position itself as a beacon to diverse attorneys. It is apparent to me that Barnes & Thornburg was not looking for its diversity and inclusion efforts to merely serve as a publicity tool – instead, it set out to ensure that its efforts actually translate to real change

in its culture and in that of its clients and connections. In the words of my favorite Chicana author, Sandra Cisneros: “You must remember to come back. For the ones who cannot leave as easily as you.” This is a mantra that has guided me throughout my legal career and a reflection of my view of diversity and inclusion – one which feels right at home at Barnes & Thornburg. –Gray Mateo-Harris, Partner, Chicago

Diversity and Inclusion. Beyond Race and Gender

When my daughter was first diagnosed with autism, I knew I would love her no matter what, but I worried how other people would react. While inclusion had always been at the forefront of my work and team goals, I now felt a much more urgent and personal Katrina Thompson connection to it. Universal parent worries about inclusion were now exacerbated by special needs concerns: • Would she have friends? • Would she be invited to parties? • Or, would she be left out, alone in a corner of the room, playing with a piece of string for the rest of her life…?

My prior diversity and inclusion efforts had involved what I now consider “obvious” diversity (such as race or ethnicity), but now I found myself aware of differences in thinking and struggles below the surface that may not be as apparent (such as the neurological and sensory processing issues plaguing my daughter). The patience and perspective I have learned from her and the wonderful world of people I have connected with through our journey has helped me, not just by including and interacting with those officially diagnosed with autism, but also individuals with different types of communication and learning styles. Inclusion to me, now more than ever, is about embracing and appreciating all those who do not view the world in the same way that I do. –By Katrina Thompson, Partner, Columbus


It’s important for the diversity and inclusion discussion to include people with disabilities, seen and unseen. Earlier this year, Katrina Thompson, a partner in our Columbus office, gathered her colleagues to educate and spread awareness about autism in acknowledgment of World Autism Awareness Day. Why? Because Katrina is raising an autistic child. She shares with us more of why she is committed to making sure that when people think about diversity and inclusion, they think beyond the surface.

i knew i would love her no matter what.

In recognizing World Autism Awareness Day, the Columbus office gathered to #LightItUpBlue for understanding and acceptance.

Sometimes the journey is the destination


By Angela B. Freeman Associate, Indianapolis

Growing up as an AfricanAmerican female in Appalachian Kentucky, I personified diversity. I was also blessed to have a community and family who instilled in me that I was destined for excellence. Although I never knew what “greatness” looked like or how to get there, I was taught that education was the key. So, I charted my own course, becoming the first in my family to graduate from college, to earn an advanced degree, and to have a career as a professional biologist. Now, I appreciate that my formative years taught me to always demonstrate excellence and leadership, which built my confidence to later take a seat at the table and use my voice in my scientific and legal careers, where all too often I have remained “the only one” or one of very few.

Notwithstanding, I have enjoyed my journey, including the challenges and disappointments, right along with the amazing experiences, touching moments, and deep personal relationships that I have garnered. In fact, it is the culmination of these experiences that have worked to blaze a trail for which the destination remains unknown to me, but the trail illuminates nonetheless for others to follow.

I charted my own course, becoming the first in my family to graduate from college.

“I have enjoyed my journey.”


Opening doors: Summer Associate Abdulrasheed hosts panel discussion for undergrads Jamal Abdulrasheed, a 2018 summer associate in the Indianapolis office, was inspired to become an attorney after he attended a panel discussion in 2015 at Barnes & Thornburg about careers in the law. Three years later, he decided to do the same for other diverse students. Jamal conceptualized, organized and moderated a panel featuring Portia Bailey-Bernard and Rubin Pusha of the Indianapolis office, and Dawn Rosemond of the Fort Wayne office for undergraduate students from Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis’ Diversity Enrichment & Achievement Program (DEAP). The DEAP panel discussion was focused on providing diverse students with early access to programming and coaching from attorneys who understand the challenges they will face in education and the workplace. Jamal is a third-year law student at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He was our Indy 2017 1L Diversity Scholar and will be joining the firm next fall as a member of our 2019 new associate class.


Abdulrasheed, 2018 Summer Associate, Indianapolis


As a student of color who has a platform to influence others, my success isn’t measured by money or other personal achievements. Instead, it’s measured by how many people I bring with me along the way. My philosophy is rooted in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s belief in the “fierce urgency of now.” My “why” is my passion for reinvesting in the community that has invested so much in me. And that reinvestment starts now.

What it means to be an ally. June is widely recognized in the U.S. as Pride Month, an opportunity to celebrate the hard-fought victories our LGBT community has won and to honor the legacies of those who sacrificed – with their time and activism, with their reputations, and sometimes with their lives – to win them. This year, Barnes & Thornburg’s LGBT Employee Resource Group stepped forward to help educate us on what we can do to be better allies, and issued a reference guide to help us on this journey. Here is an excerpt; read more in “What it means to be an ally” recently published by our LGBT Employee Resource Group. Being an Ally means working to help members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in both passive and active ways. Support from straight friends and co-workers in the workplace can make a major impact on the quality of an individual’s work experience.

“Teams flourish when individual members feel empowered and appreciated because of – not in spite of – their unique perspectives. We hope that Pride Month can serve as a reminder to engage open-heartedly with our colleagues, to listen and learn from them, and to work together to create a more rich and rewarding workplace for us all.” – Amber Bollman Business Development Manager, Indianapolis and LGBT Employee Resource Group Co-Chair

Being an ally means A few things you can do: working to help in both • Use inclusive language: You can help create an for open and honest dialogue. Using terms like passive and environment “partner,” instead of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” and “spouse,” active ways. instead of “husband” or “wife,” offers up the opportunity for


• • •

more inclusive conversations. • Familiarize yourself with issues and vocabulary, but don’t forget to talk to friends and co-workers about their experiences. Increase your awareness about issues impacting the LGBT community: Take some time to listen to music, see movies or read books and magazines by and about LGBT people. Learn more about current political and social matters affecting the LGBT community. After all, there’s no substitute for knowledge. Attend events that celebrate diversity and inclusion: Attend programs sponsored by the firm and other organizations that promote or celebrate diversity and inclusion. And don’t be afraid to put your money where your mouth is! If you know of stores or companies that practice discrimination, don’t buy their products or patronize their locations. When we work together, we can help send a message about the importance of acceptance and inclusion. Speak out against hurtful comments: Standing up to opponents of LGBT rights can be difficult, but it can also make a big difference. When you hear anti-gay jokes, offensive slang or stereotypical remarks, firmly but kindly let that person know that you will not tolerate that type of speech.

Donation drive for Indiana Youth Group sparked by Goins, volunteer and ally

In June, the Indianapolis office hosted a clothing and supply drive, as well as a jeans day collection, for Indiana Youth Group (IYG), a nonprofit organization for LGBTQ youth. Because, in spite of the advances we have made, many kids are not blessed with affirming home environments. Love and support from our community can be lifechanging – and indeed, life-saving.

I was involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters for of being gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. eight years and it was a wonderful experience. to the equation only makes things more Once my Little had aged-out of the program, challenging. The center provides a safe, nurturing I was ready to try something a bit different, environment for people to not only live their and began volunteering with IYG truths, but also participate in programs When you become a Big, you’re and mentoring that build confidence matched with a Little for a oneand promote wellness. Suicide is the The longon-one mentoring relationship. term hope is for second-leading cause of death among One of the biggest changes/ there to be no people ages 10 to 24 and LGBTQ youth challenges/benefits of being a need for IYG or contemplate suicide at nearly three youth mentor at IYG is that it’s any other service times the rate of heterosexual youth. not one-on-one; most nights it’s a like it. IYG has suicide prevention programs 70-on-one (more accurately a 70 as well as outreach to homeless LGBTQ on 5, 6, 7, etc. depending on the youth in hopes of reaching those that number of volunteers working that night, but feel disaffected and alone. you get the idea). It makes me proud to be a very small part of this. There are nights where I just wash and fold clothes Indiana Youth Group provides services to all night for the homeless youth clothing exchange LGBTQ people ages 12 to 20. Most young program, stock and sort the food pantry, or spend people feel like the “other” or “different” the evening sitting in the corner talking with a shy person in the room, but adding the factor youth that’s visiting for the first time. It doesn’t


Mark Goins, facilities manager at Barnes & Thornburg’s Indianapolis office and regular volunteer at IYG, led the charge to gather several boxes of clothing and other donated items as part of an LGBT Employee Resource Group Pride Month project. Mark tells us about his “why.”

Donation drive for Indiana Youth Group sparked by Goins, volunteer and ally

matter to me what task I’m assigned for the night, because anything is a contribution that may impact someone’s life.


I grew up in Anderson, Indiana, in the ´70s and ´80s. It wasn’t the best (or worst) time to be a gay kid living in a Midwestern blue-collar town. There were definite expectations for boys and I did everything I could to fit in. Appearing other or different was an invitation to being called “fag” or “queer” and that was the worst possible thing you could be. I subscribed to their ideals and buried everything I was just to be accepted/not harassed. Age and life experience has taught me that being accepted by small people is nothing to strive for, but when you’re a child it’s paramount.

Great strides have been made with civil rights and the general acceptance of the LGBTQ community. I’m proud to be able to share my experiences, failures, victories, and gradual self-acceptance with the youth that attend IYG. The longterm hope is for there to be no need for IYG or any other service like it. Until then, I’m there most Friday nights doing what I can. Most nights at the center I look around the rooms at the youth laughing, talking, dancing, playing games and think “if only I had an IYG when I was a kid.” – Mark Goins, Facilities Manager, Indianapolis

Life experience has taught me that being accepted by small people is nothing to strive for.

Redefine Women’s History Month 2018 Campaign

As part of Women’s History Month in 2018, the women at Barnes & Thornburg set out to redefine themselves, our firm and our society. Not only did we take time

to reflect on, honor and remember the significant contributions women have made to this country and to contemporary society, but we decided to boldly join in the national celebration and acknowledge the countless contributions women have made to this firm. Here’s just a taste of how our powerhouse female teammates inspired us through their unique perspectives on: Risk, Identity, Purpose, Team and Journey. Click here to view our 2018 Redefine Women’s History Month campaign in its entirety.

Team Identity

Risk Journey


As the firm grows, we believe it becomes even more important to create internal connections, break down barriers and foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment. This is especially true when you have team members spread across the country, who may never have an opportunity to meet in person. Our goal is to get past the resume and the “single story” of any individual or group by providing a glimpse of our authentic selves through two campaigns that have kicked off in 2018. By giving individuals a chance to shine and tell their own stories, we can create a more affirming workplace culture.


Celebration of Diversity Dinner Inspires and Honors Chicago Civil Rights and Social Justice Community Leaders


Nearly 300 legal and business community leaders attended Barnes & Thornburg’s ninth annual Celebration of Diversity Dinner in Chicago this past August, where Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia presented the keynote and three Chicago diversity pioneers were honored.

“Conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion are as pervasive as ever in today’s society, and we pride ourselves in taking deliberate steps to make improvements in the legal and business communities, which have always been scrutinized when it comes to hiring and developing talent from all backgrounds,” said Richard Boykin, a partner in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., offices of Barnes & Thornburg and a partner in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., offices of Barnes & Thornburg who founded the annual event. “Each year, we honor those who embody values of fairness, professionalism, respect and inclusiveness, and the latest award recipients are no exception.”

The dinner and awards ceremony, held at the University Club of Chicago, recognized those who have exhibited a personal and professional commitment to diversity, justice and civil rights. The award recipients were: • John Mayes, CEO and president of Trilogy, Inc. Mayes has worked in the mental and behavioral health field for more than three decades. At Trilogy, Mayes develops community partnerships to help bridge funding and service gaps and ensures barriers to primary and behavioral healthcare are reduced or eliminated for those on their path to recovery. • Colette Holt, president of Colette Holt & Associates, who is renowned for her work in

designing, implementing and defending affirmative action programs. She also serves as general counsel to the American Contract Compliance Association, the national organization of officials responsible for minority, women and disadvantaged business initiatives. • Rami Nashashibi, executive director and founder of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network. Nashashibi focuses on health and wellness initiatives in Chicago’s urban areas, where he helps former prisoners with reentry and provides them with income-based housing, job training and salaried positions, among other tools and resources.

“This is how we build a new generation of leaders in a transformative and inclusive way. We together will instill hope and everlasting progress for generations to come.”



– Anna M. Valencia, Chicago City Clerk 2018 Diversity Dinner Keynote

Barnes & Thornburg Named To ‘Best Law Firms for Women’ List by Working Mother Barnes & Thornburg has been named to the 11th annual “Best Law Firms for Women” list by Working Mother magazine, which recognizes firms that utilize best practices in retaining and promoting women lawyers. Barnes & Thornburg was among 60 firms that earned spots on this year’s list. The 2018 Working Mother Best Law Firms for Women application included more than 300 questions about attorney representation, schedule flexibility, paid time off and parental leaves, and development and retention of women.


“It’s our priority to maintain an attractive environment for women through ongoing professional development programming, opportunities to network and build connections and by engaging our peers to address and overcome the challenges that women in the workplace face.”

Our commitment to making sure women have opportunities to learn, grow and advance is strong. Barnes & Thornburg has established the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN), along with a women’s initiative task force, to specifically address issues that affect our female colleagues at all levels of the firm. The WIN co-chairs, Heather Willey of the Indianapolis office and Denise Lazar of the Chicago office, work closely with firm leaders to ensure our pledge to being a workplace that advances and supports women rings true.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the women of the Washington, D.C., office, gathered to discuss their experiences as women in the workplace. Sharon Powe of the Washington, D.C. office sang “I Am Woman” and then each woman joined in during the chorus to add the adjective that best described her – “Unstoppable,” “Bold,” “Strong,” “Leader.”

–Heather H. Willey, Partner, Indianapolis and co-chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Network

“Our efforts continue, but obtaining this recognition is very important, because it reflects our culture of providing a flexible workplace. We have worked hard to ensure our policies fully support women so they can succeed personally and professionally.” –Bob Grand, Firm Managing Partner, Indianapolis

Declaring our diversity and fostering real connection in ‘I Am Barnes & Thornburg’ campaign

Taking Notice!

“This is a powerful reflection. I like to think that I know and understand the ‘what,’ but you challenge me to better understand and appreciate the ‘why’ of diversity and inclusion.” – Terri Bruksch, Partner, Indianapolis

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) recently took notice of Barnes & Thornburg’s Celebration of Our Diversity, Redefine Women’s History Month, and I Am Barnes & Thornburg campaigns, showcasing the firm under the “Relationship Building” and “Communication” sections of its “What’s Working” initiative. LCLD’s “What’s Working” effort highlights innovative programming and initiatives instituted by LCLD member organizations to build a more inclusive legal profession. The article, “3 Steps Toward a More Inclusive Culture,” highlights the aforementioned initiatives and the impact they are making on our culture. Check out the full article here.


What better way to tell our story– and the why behind what we do – than to hear directly from team members. Once a month during 2018, team members have been sharing personal anecdotes and glimpses into their lives. “I Am Barnes & Thornburg” has been a successful email campaign that celebrates what makes us all unique. That uniqueness, when embraced and celebrated, will be the very thing that binds us together and makes us a better team.

For Bill Jones, Spearheading a Texas State Capitol Monument Leaves a Long-Lasting Impact on Community approval of the design, fundraising efforts were initiated. Texas Legislative Black Caucus Members then joined the foundation to assist in the fundraising and finish erection of the memorial. It took the foundation five years to complete the memorial. And now, the Texas African American History Memorial will leave a lasting impact on future generations.


Bill Jones of the Dallas office stands with Bob Grand, Firm Managing Partner, in front of the Texas African American History Memorial at the Texas State Capitol in Austin.

There isn’t much more satisfying than the feeling that Bill Jones, a partner in the Dallas office, gets when he drives by the Texas African American History Memorial at the Texas Capitol. Years of tireless work made the memorial possible. Bill reached out to fellow attorneys to help start the Texas African American History Memorial Foundation, which would later build the monument honoring African American Texans and their contributions to the state. After starting the foundation, commissioning the Denver artist, Ed Dwight, and obtaining state

“Years ago, when I was general counsel for Gov. Perry, there was an effort to put a monument dedicated to black history on the state capitol grounds,” Bill said. “But, that monument didn’t happen. Several years after I left the governor’s office, my father passed and during his last days, I just felt the need to ensure a fitting tribute to African American history.”

A number of people have told me that the memorial may be the most appealing monument they have seen,” Bill said. “Virtually every time I drive by I see people standing in front of it.

We asked Bill: How has building the Texas African American History Memorial impacted your life?

Pursuing this memorial forced me to dig even deeper into Texas black history and black history in this country. I have a greater appreciation for events that I previously did not know about; people whose victories and intuitiveness and intelligence have been completely overlooked and I have a more educated understanding that slavery was about more than working under incredible conditions without pay and without hope for a better future. Now, every time a person takes the time to read the plaques on the memorial describing historical events, they walk with a deeper understanding of African American contribution to this state. And, they will hopefully be motivated to explore even more of the stories and histories we simply didn’t have the space to protract. For the first time there is a public acknowledgment of the untold stories of blacks in the state of Texas, starting in 1528 when the first Africans arrived in Texas with the Spanish explorers.


The memorial will leave a lasting impact.

Nearly 300 Attend Minneapolis Women in Leadership Event Focused on Experiences in the Workplace


Jay Newton-Small spoke in May at Barnes & Thornburg’s seventh annual Women in Leadership: Exploring Pathways event at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis. The event came amid intense focus on women’s experiences in the workplace and how leaders must create cultures that are fair and fulfilling for all workers. In her keynote remarks, Newton-Small, author of “Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works” and a long-time Washington correspondent for Time magazine and CEO of MemoryWell, talked about how women shape society today. At the event, Barnes & Thornburg recognized Dani Deering, general counsel at Lockheed Martin, who was presented with its Nancy A. Sullivan Community Leadership

Award. The award recognizes a woman in the community who has achieved the highest level of professional excellence, exemplifies commitment to her community, is dedicated to helping others, especially women realize their leadership potential, and exhibits the qualities of partnership, integrity and perseverance.

“The Women In Leadership event truly feels honest. The topic is relevant to the discussions we are all having within our businesses today and it is helpful to share not only the successes but the challenges we are having as well.”

Model Leadership: A Case Study

Minneapolis Managing Partner, Connie Lahn, believes at her core that diversity and inclusion are the “right things” as evidenced in the recently published Minnesota Lawyer article, Leadership, Diversity and Creating Better Law Firm Culture. These are not only topics she cares deeply about, but something she strives toward day in and day out. After the Minneapolis office was recently named one of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Best Places to Work (medium category), we know she is on the right track. You can read the full article here.

“Diversity and inclusion have always been extremely important to me. But as I developed as an attorney, from a brand new associate to partner, I realized that while junior members of an organization can declare what values are important all they want, they really don’t have very much power to effect the changes that bring those values to bear across an office or firm. In my current role, I have the ability to do something about it and I take that as a critical responsibility. I have the latitude to hire diverse partners and associates and bring on a lot of women as partner-level lateral hires, which has been wonderful. Diversity is much more a part of the conversation, so we also have more of a platform to talk about behavior that is not inclusive and say ‘that’s not how we work; that’s not acceptable.’ I also see that as my responsibility.”


“The metric I established for myself was ‘make it better.’”

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” - Peter F. Drucker.

‘All In’ Indeed

Diversity and inclusion work is not the work of a diversity professional or of a designated committee. Instead, it is all of our responsibility. One way our colleague Grant Peters, a partner in the Chicago office, has decided to take up his, is by creating a simple reminder of our platform focus written on a Post-it® and affixing it to his computer. Per Grant, it helps him stay mindful of what’s important and how to incorporate inclusion into each day. “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius.

Grant’s simple yet powerful effort teaches that we can call do something to move us toward better.

Ask yourself, what will you do?

Diversity and Inclusion Committee Bob Grand, Co-Chair Dawn Rosemond, Co-Chair Kelly Atkinson, Diversity Coordinator ATLANTA James Robinson CHICAGO Denise Lazar Paul Olszowka Debby Usher

For more information about our diversity and inclusion platform, please visit

Naomi Kwang William Padgett R. Anthony Prather Steve Thornton Heather Willey

COLUMBUS David Paragas Katrina Thompson

LOS ANGELES Steve Hernandez Rachel Lerman Melanie Mawema David Wood

DALLAS Alicia Raines Barrs Mark Bayer

MINNEAPOLIS Christopher Fowlkes Lee Hutton

GRAND RAPIDS Tammy Helminski Jennifer Stocker

SOUTH BEND Jeanine Gozdecki Sarah Kuhny Alice Springer

INDIANAPOLIS Amber Bollman Cari Bryson Angela Freeman Ann Grayson Jeffrey Hopper Kenneth Inskeep Karoline Jackson Nick Kile


The 'Why' of Diversity and Inclusion  

Barnes & Thornburg's diversity and inclusion publication - September 2018.

The 'Why' of Diversity and Inclusion  

Barnes & Thornburg's diversity and inclusion publication - September 2018.