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Bar News - October 19, 2012

Gender Equality Training: Close-up on Session 3: Work-Life Balance And Company Culture


To Sustain Women (and Men!) in the Profession

The 2009 New Hampshire Bar Association Gender Equality Committee (GEC) survey highlighted some disturbing facts about the advancement of women in New Hampshire’s legal community. The NHBA Gender Equality Committee’s on-going training initiative is designed to promote gender equality and diversity in law firms and other organizations employing attorneys in New Hampshire.

As NH-based life coach (and former attorney) Betsy Black has noted, a company culture which encourages a work-life balance that supports women (and men!), can positively affect a law firm’s bottom line.

Work-life balance strategies enable lawyers to manage their multiple responsibilities with the goal of overall effectiveness – personally and professionally. Research has illustrated how specific behaviors for individuals and practices for firms can be mutually beneficial. Work-life balance techniques can encourage lawyers to be thoughtful about how they work, manage personal responsibilities, and manage firm expectations.

A study of Wachovia Bank employees found that changing work habits, rather than increasing hours worked, improved revenues, according to "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time," Harvard Business Review, Oct. 2007. Current research is also revealing the inefficiency and hazards of multi-tasking.

The November session of the Gender Equality Initiative Training Series will specifically focus on work-life balance and company culture. Methods for improving life-work balance, both at the office and at home, will be explored during this interactive work-life balance session, led by Betsy Black.

Successful practices, as well as how and where law firms can improve their efforts to support their employees, will be discussed. This session will allow participants to consider how to implement changes in their own firms, courts and agencies, to encourage the promotion and long-term retention of talented female attorneys.

Objectives for November Training

  • Examine research regarding why life-work balance matters for women (and men!) and firms’ bottom lines;
  • Look at how failure to address work-life balance may negatively affect career satisfaction and longevity in the field;
  • Help identify what work-life practices are working in NH’s firms;
  • Learn about successful strategies that can help address this issue.
Top-Notch Speaker: Betsy Black

November’s speaker, Betsy Black, is a life coach who specializes in working with lawyers on work-life balance issues as well as advancing their careers. She has written numerous articles for the Bar News on these topics and has been a presenter at NH Bar events and CLEs. Her business, Betsy Black Consulting, specializes in life coaching and consulting in community development finance. She lives and works in Concord and is passionate about living a balanced life. A 1985 graduate of UNH School of Law, Black is a former practicing member of the NH Bar and received accredited coach training from Coach University.

Learn more and register.

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