Gibbons P.C. celebrated 20 years of its groundbreaking, award-winning Gibbons Women’s Initiative (GWI) in an evening of networking, discussion, and dinner at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, NJ on January 25, 2018. ROI-NJ, a new publication covering the New Jersey business landscape, was the media sponsor of the event.
The evening led off with a panel entitled “So You Have a Law Degree – What Now? Women Who are Doing it Differently.” Six distinguished women lawyers on the panel shared their unique career paths after law school. These women hold high-level legal and non-legal positions in business, academia, and politics and engaged in a wide-ranging discussion about how they arrived at where they are.
Following the panel discussion was a fireside chat with Christine C. Quinn, a regular CNN political contributor, President & Chief Executive Officer of Women in Need (Win), and former Speaker of the New York City Council, along with Christine A. Amalfe, Chair of the firm’s Employment & Labor Law Department and co-founder of GWI. The ground covered by Ms. Quinn and Ms. Amalfe ranged from the 2013 New York City mayoral race and 2016 presidential campaign to the unique experience of providing political commentary on television, to the mission and success stories of the nonprofit she leads, which is New York City’s largest provider of shelter and support services for homeless families.
Ms. Amalfe noted, “A group of determined women at Gibbons, with the support of the firm, launched the Women’s Initiative as a forum for us to engage with clients and other women contacts to support each other in overcoming the particular challenges faced by women in the workplace, advancing in our chosen careers, and making a difference in our communities.” She continued, “GWI has benefited Gibbons tremendously – both the firm itself and its women lawyers – and it has been a valuable resource for thousands of women professionals who have taken part in its programming.”
“Every firm that wants to have the best talent must attract women lawyers and then focus on retaining them. Our Women’s Initiative helps us do just that,” said Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons. “As we look back and celebrate those first 20 years, we can reflect on the different ways women have made the workplace work for them, and look to the future to ensure the culture of inclusion at Gibbons is constantly evolving and expanding.”
Founded in 1997, GWI is a critical component of the firm’s efforts to create a more diverse attorney workforce and leadership team and broadly promote the advancement of women in business. GWI is a platform for new and senior women attorneys to participate with each other, clients, and high-level representatives from business and academia in quality educational and social programs that improve knowledge; foster teamwork; provide vital mentoring, networking, and business development opportunities; showcase the talents of Gibbons women attorneys; support women’s causes; and promote the role and advancement of women in business. The Initiative has grown into a highly respected organization, with more than 60 Gibbons women firm actively working on its programs and more than 2,000 invited women participants.
Thanks to GWI, Gibbons was named among the 2009 winners of the prestigious, international Catalyst Award, one of the preeminent corporate honors recognizing outstanding achievement in the advancement of women in the workplace. Gibbons subsequently earned the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF)’s Gold Standard Certification in the very first year of the certification program and was named one of the “Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers for ten consecutive years.