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Career

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Learn about the Workforce Innovation Center that now offers more than 120 inclusive best practices, policies, and partnerships to support companies’ unique workforce and talent needs.

 

It’s no secret that businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in the current economy. People are also struggling. With poverty and disparities, especially along lines of race, it’s holding our community back. That’s where the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s  Workforce Innovation Center can help. 

Through a newly unveiled three-tired service offering the Workforce Innovation Center helps by providing:

  • assessment services to help companies identify issue areas
  • more than 120 practice and policy recommendations and partnerships to customize solutions for companies
  • evaluating and recognizing companies through a formal process, which is in development

Workforce Innovation Center Executive Director Audrey Treasure says the concept is led by the idea of “inclusive capitalism,” which aims to make capitalism benefit employees, communities, and shareholders with the positive results. 

“Business was designed to be in the best interest of their stakeholders, meaning the employees, employers and community as a whole,” explains Treasure. “We aim to return to this idea that a business invests in their people as part of their long-term talent play for all. It doesn’t have to be about how fast you can turn a profit. It’s about building a strong community. We’re beating our drum that this is how we want businesses run in Cincinnati.”

Treasure says plans to launch the Workforce Innovation Center has long been in the works, but COVID-19 made the need for its services even more apparent. “COVID-19 forced us to make this more available to more companies. That’s why we broke it down into three service offerings, you can choose one, or two or three of those so we can help you reach your goals,” she explains. “The pandemic also made it more apparent that people live in financially precarious positions, which is really troubling. We want employers to be part of the solution.”

The Workforce Innovation Center takes a direct approach of consulting with companies to understand what is happening within their workforce. Through an assessment process of a company’s identified challenges, policies, and employee experience, the Center proposes solutions that can improve the business’ operations and can also help address challenges that employees might be experiencing. “A company may have a tardiness policy that is overly punitive and results in a high turnover rate of employees that could otherwise be successful,” explains Treasure. “The Center can then support an employer in implementing practice changes in order to achieve its desired outcomes and improve its bottom line.”

Not only does the Center offer this support, but it also serves as a hub between businesses and the workforce ecosystem that exists in this region. “These social solutions organizations excel at removing barriers for people who are looking to advance their lives through work and can bring companies new sources of talent that employers may not have previously considered,” she says. “There’s also been a real increase in focus on racial disparities. Companies come to us asking how we can help them bridge the gap. They want to be intentional about how they improve policies and practices, as part of their business strategy and we’re there to help.”

Treasure says they help local businesses large and small through the Center, the smallest currently having 14 employees and the largest having thousands.

Liza Smitherman, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Jostin Construction, Inc.  

“We see an opportunity for companies to drive changes within their business to improve company operational and financial performance and support their employees,” says Treasure. “We can give businesses – regardless of size – tools and measurements to tell them how they’re doing. We think if we can do this company by company, this will have a transformational effect on the community as a whole.”

The Workforce Innovation Center was established by business leaders who wanted to make the reduction of poverty in the region a priority. Liza Smitherman, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Jostin Construction, Inc.  sat on the advisory board of the Workforce Innovation Center prior to launch, and also recently brought Jostin Construction on board to utilize all three service levels.

“They made it easy to share and acknowledge that there are opportunities for improvement so they can then help. It’s so important to know where our employees fit, center their voices, so we can hear from our stakeholders, our assets our employees,” Smitherman explains. “A good business that wants to have good jobs needs to hear from their people. The center helps our employees give comprehensive feedback, while also getting an objective review of that feedback, benchmarked by industry standards and best practices to let us know how we’re doing and areas of needed growth.”

Smitherman says she feels extremely thankful to have access to the Center’s services in Cincinnati. “We are in Ohio, so we’re more conservative about how we look at things,” she adds. “I give credit to the Chamber in particular who pull together a very diverse group of voices that then help move this needle forward. There’s some empowerment felt that my voice can be heard as much as a big business that’s been around for 20-30 years.” 

This business-focused resource is part of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Through this, the Workforce Innovation Center is able to offer support to companies while helping them solve challenges and find new sources of talent, consider new ways of doing business to support their success, and engage companies in the process of increasing economic mobility for those in poverty. 

To learn more about the Workforce Innovation Center, visit https://workforceinnovationcenter.com. You can check out more using the Cincy Chamber’s presence on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook and the Center’s new LinkedIn page. You can also watch and share these short videos focused on the Center’s approach for businesses and how it will impact the community as a whole.

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See how you can easily and quickly switch to a tech career -- at no cost to you -- through a registered apprenticeship with technical training and paid, on-the-job experience.

Where you’re headed, not where you’ve been. That’s the focus for Apprenti Cincinnati, a registered apprenticeship program designed to recruit and train professionals — based on their aptitude, not their background — helping to fill Greater Cincinnati’s shortage of skilled tech talent.

“We take individuals that have different backgrounds and help move them into careers in technology,” says Apprenti Cincinnati director, Christina Misali. “In about a year and a half, you can completely switch careers and take on no tuition debt in the process.”

Apprenti Cincinnati was brought to the region through the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and the CIO Roundtable. Thanks to a generous investment by JPMorgan Chase and support from the Duke Energy Foundation, they’re leading this tech talent collaborative designed to expand and diversify the region’s IT workforce. Since the program launched in February 2019, Apprenti Cincinnati has placed 46 talented professionals into a variety of IT roles.

Maria Konerman is one of those professionals. “I was working in non-profit management. I started to realize it wasn’t a good fit for me,” recalls Konerman, now an Associate Application Analyst/Developer at Great American Insurance Group. “I just had this nagging voice that I wanted to pursue a career in IT.” 

At first, Konerman says, thinking about a career change, the education costs and starting from scratch in a new field seemed too daunting. That is, until Apprenti Cincinnati made her dream a reality. “I could not be more grateful to have this opportunity. It’s changed my life and I’ll always be profoundly grateful,” she says. “Sometimes I wake up and get on my computer to do my development work and I can’t believe it. I’m like ‘How did I even get here?'”

Konerman, like many other candidates and apprentices like her, got there through Apprenti Cincinnati’s non-traditional solution to drive more tech talent in and to the Cincinnati region. Apprenti was launched by the Washington Technology Industry Association, headquartered out of Seattle, in 2016. It now has multiple locations across the country with more than 1,000 apprentices placed in a variety of tech roles.

To get started, candidates take the aptitude assessment to measure math, soft skills and critical thinking abilities. Then, there’s a multi-level screening process. “The entire process can be 3-5 weeks. Some, we talk to over a six month period,” says Misali. “It depends on where our employers are in their hiring process and where the candidates are in their career journey. We meet people where they are.” 

After interviewing with an employer, the apprentices participate in certified technical training ranging from 10-15 weeks through one of several local training partners: Cincinnati State, Tech Elevator, MAX Technical Training, Per Scholas, Kable Academy and the University of Cincinnati.

After training, they start work with their hiring partner – local employers, such as Kroger Technology, Procter & Gamble, CVG and Great American Insurance Group. Employers pay for the technical training and continue to educate their apprentices through paid on-the-job training for one year. Roles currently offered include: software developers, IT business analysts, network security professionals, IT support admins, cloud specialists, cybersecurity analyst and more.

Local employers are eager to fill their tech positions, Misali says. In fact, more than 37,950 IT roles were posted in the Cincinnati Region in 2019. Apprenti Cincinnati works with companies large and small to fill open positions with tech-interested individuals, regardless of educational or professional background. 

Recent events have only accelerated this need. “We’re depending even more on tech for everything. People are finding themselves unemployed or they’re thinking about what really matters to them and reconsidering career choices,” Misali says. “We help companies lean in to meet demands of un- and underemployed professionals, and we help candidates who have more than ever on their plates step toward a new career.”

According to Misali, 46 percent of Apprenti Cincinnati apprentices were unemployed for less than 27 weeks prior to starting the program. “That leads to a municipal investment for the region as the average salary post-graduation in our area is $50-70k,” she adds, “Some people are seeing over 100 percent increase in earnings. And we have 100 percent retention to date for our region.”

Apprenti Cincinnati also helps to diversify employer’s candidate pipeline. “Women, minorities and veterans are a focus for this program. We’ve placed apprentices from age 18-49. Our inaugural class was 55% women,” Misali explains. “Given everything going on in the world right now, especially with recent racial injustices, employers can partner with Apprenti to increase diversity within their tech teams. This is a community. This has always been about offering support.”

Apprenti Cincinnati is for the broadest range of candidates possible – no IT experience is required, just interest, aptitude, and work ethic. To learn more, or register, visit apprenticareers.org.

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A local art gallery and consulting business is expanding into a brand new location. Click here for more details on the upcoming Grand Opening.

After 27 years running Art Design Consultants (ADC) in the heart of Cincinnati, Owner Litsa Spanos is expanding her business to the new ADC West Gallery.

Spanos and her business ADC offer assistance to residential, corporate, and commercial clients in finding artwork that reinforces their unique goals, missions, and brand identities. 

When it comes to consulting with clients, Spanos says that she wants to create spaces that are a reflection of them and who they are. 

The team at ADC doesn’t focus on a specific medium of art, rather they offer clients a variety of mediums, styles, and artists.

The new ADC location is in a warehouse on the West End.

In addition to helping clients find artwork that speaks to them, she also enjoys offering support to artists through the Blink Art Resource Guide, which is designed in-house and in its sixth year of showcasing artists and connecting them directly to buyers. 

With the expansion of her business to a brand new location, Spanos is now preparing for the Grand Opening of the ADC West Gallery, which will open on November 21 alongside the new publication of the Blink Art Resource. 

The new ADC West Gallery will now be located in the West End.

The West End facility on York Street is a refurbished warehouse and will offer an expanded gallery with even more artwork and a larger framing facility. ADC West will now have the space to pursue two new concepts we have been considering – a co-working environment and a nonprofit inspirational space called Blink Scape.

Blink Scape at the West End location will be a 20-foot square white cube dedicated to conceptual art installations. The 20′ x 20′ non-profit installation room, located centerstage in the new ADC West Gallery, is a place where art inspires and heals, bringing the community thought-provoking installations that create joy and lead to transformation.

Those who want to experience the CUBE can do so with a $25 donation to ADC Fine Art.   

The Grand Opening reception is November 21 from 12-5pm. ADC West is located at 1013 York Street in Cincinnati. 

The show will feature over 150 of the nation’s most talented artists featured in the annual Blink Art Resource publication. Spanos says that masks and an RSVP are required for each experience to help ensure proper social distancing, and to keep visitors as safe as possible.

To learn more, click here.

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As we say goodbye to a year unlike any other, one local life coach wants to help you make next year your best one yet.

In a year that’s been anything but normal, Melissa Kirkpatrick, founder of Find Your Own Drive, wants to help you live your best life in the year to come.

Kirkpatrick is hosting a series of upcoming webinars to inspire you from the comfort of home. 

“Earlier this year I offered free webinars to support those who are looking for a way to take the situation of the pandemic and refocus their energy on themselves in a positive manner by using vision boards, morning routines, and progress toward a purpose,” says Kirkpatrick. 

In the time since she first offered the webinars, Kirkpatrick says that she’s been able to work individually with those who participated. From there, she found that she could reach even more people by offering two additional free webinars.

The reason for the two free webinars are to develop confidence and clarity as the year comes to a close and a new year arrives. “What a better time to do this than just before the holidays to talk about growing in gratitude as well as creating the vision for 2021,” she adds. 

Kirkpatrick shares a passion for nurturing others on their journey, which she says goes back to when she was a kid. “It brings me a lot of joy to be able to teach others what I have learned on my journey and share ways to equip themselves with tools that will allow them to stay focused and motivated on their dreams and goals to create a business and life they love,” she says. 

When participants are finished with the webinars, Kirkpatrick says she hopes that they will take away an understanding that in any situation, good will come when you focus on you from the inside out. “Your thoughts become things, your actions create a reaction, and when you know how to use these tools by starting from within, you really can create your life by design,” she says.

Growing Through Gratitude is a free webinar being offered on November 19 from 12-1pm. Kirkpatrick will share practical ways to implement a customized gratitude practice that will help you break out of ruts, attract more good, and live your best life. 

You can RSVP for the Growing Through Gratitude webinar at https://cincy.live/events/gratitude.

On December 17 from 12-1pm, Kirkpatrick will host her 2021 Virtual Vision Board Workshop. As we get ready to say goodbye to a wild year, Kirkpatrick wants to help you find ways to get clear on your goals, envision what those goals look like, understand why you want those goals, and to help you put steps into place for success.

You can RSVP for this webinar at www.cincy.live/events/2021vision.

Each of Kirkpatrick’s webinars are free to watch and includes access to the live workshop as well as a free copy of her Find Your Own D.R.I.V.E. ebook and a complimentary one-on-one activation call.

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Wanting to find her own spark while helping others, a local woman launched this amazing initiative. Read on for more.

Karen Harshaw isn’t new to the fundraising industry. In fact, when she launched SPARK Philanthropy in 2018, she had already been in fundraising for more than 20 years. 

“Stepping out on my own had been something I wanted to do for a number of years, more than anything; to be independent and successful,” she says. “I wanted to help nonprofits that were struggling; how to shift and turn things around and make a greater impact at their entire philanthropic landscape.”

But this new start wasn’t easy for Harshaw. 

“I was afraid,” she says. “I had an admiration for other professional consultants that I didn’t have for myself. I didn’t believe I was on their level.”

With a nudge from her husband, Harshaw became the first black fundraising consultant in the city. “I knew it would be something bold, new, and scary all at the same time,” she says. “I didn’t think I would be accepted or given the opportunities or benefit of the doubt that other consultants would. But I had to stop making excuse after excuse. I was connected. People did know me, and I had a proven track record. And, I was good!”

That’s when she found her own spark and decided to take one giant leap for womankind. 

Today Harshaw is the founder of SPARK Philanthropy, a consulting firm dedicated to helping nonprofits deliver high-quality, mission-driven fundraising strategies and training.

“Our goal is to develop the resources, skills, and know-how to build a more effective organization, successful donor relationships, and maximize revenue” she says. “It’s our mission to transform leaders and board members into fundraising powerhouses equipped with the resources they need to be effective and have greater mission impact.” 

SPARK Philanthropy also works with organization leaders to teach them how to be more effective and create and build a culture of fundraising.

Harshaw says that SPARK Philanthropy helps to turn ideas into reality by focusing on four key areas to meet an organization’s growth goals:

  1. Fundraising Strategies (annual campaigns, capital campaigns, major gift development, donor cultivation and stewardship, grant writing, and special events)

  2.  Strategic Planning (conduct feasibility studies, design and develop fund development and communication plans, and action plans)

  3. Capacity Building (conduct needs assessments, assess nonprofit effectiveness, and organizational growth)

  4. Board Development and Governance (board recruitment, board facilitation, trainings and retreats, and succession planning.)

In addition to these areas, SPARK Philanthropy also provides leadership coaching to motivate and inspire new leaders and existing leaders within organizations around Cincinnati. 

When Harshaw works with an organization, she says that she focuses on the entire philanthropic landscape, including philanthropic culture. “We want to make sure, internally, that their foundation is strong so that they can thrive for years to come,” she adds.

Harshaw says that while the goal for 2021 was to expand her services beyond Ohio, that goal was met a little early. 

“We have accomplished that goal during the pandemic,” she says. “We had an incredible number of nonprofit leaders reach out at the beginning of the pandemic asking for our support; desperate to keep their nonprofits afloat and teams intact. We took everyone on. It has been amazing getting to know so many different organizations doing amazing, impactful work in the community. They are making a difference.” 

Harshaw says that SPARK Philanthropy is also now in North Carolina, Florida, and Las Vegas.

To learn more, visit www.sparkconsultingpartners.com or like them on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/sparkbykaren>. 

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Learn about local entrepreneurs who launched a new podcast to help entrepreneurs find the way to financial freedom.

Two local entrepreneurs wanted to create a community among other driven individuals seeking to enter entrepreneurship. To help guide other determined business owners living in uncertain economic times, they launched Side Hustle City.

“Side Hustle City is a community of like-minded, driven people at various stages of entrepreneurship,” Co-Founder Adam Koehler. “Ideally it will become an ecosystem that birts vibrant start-ups and ideas that create economic inclusion and financial stability for all people willing to bust it.”

Koehler, who is also the founder of Revered Out as well as other numerous ventures, launched Side Hustle City alongside Kyle Stevie, the self-proclaimed Forrest Gump of the Cincinnati start-up scene. 

The inspiration for Side Hustle City came from the desire to help entrepreneurs take care of themselves.

“Generations of Americans have relied on subsidies from the government and it’s created a death cycle for families and communities,” says Koehler. “Side Hustle City was established on the principle that the only person, or entity, that can take care of you is you. We want to give access to tools and education that allow people to provide for their own needs. We believe that it is going to take more than one stream of income and we want to provide examples of people who have successfully navigated that course.”

Koehler says that he hopes those who connect with Side Hustle City will give people the opportunity to walk away as the captain of their own voyage. “Economic independence is accessible to everyone,” he says. “The more wealth in each community, the better each community becomes.” 

Within Side Hustle City is a community offering up real life examples of people who have achieved economic freedom through multiple streams of income. “We also provide access to organizations and people who can help advise entrepreneurs on meeting important check points in their growth from an idea into a company with employees,” says Koehler.

The concept behind Side Hustle City is as unique as the individuals in the group. “We aren’t reinventing the wheel,” he says. “We are only centralizing information for people to have access to. The success of the group isn’t driven by the organization, it’s driven by the desire of the individual members of the community.”

As Side Hustle City continues to expand its reach to the region’s entrepreneurs, they plan to host meet-ups and social networking events. For now, Side Hustle City connects with others on social media and through their podcast. 

“We are going to continue to bring interesting and inspiring success stories and informational interviews that will benefit business owners,” he says. 

To learn more about Side Hustle City, check out their Facebook page.

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This local financial services company helps your money work for you. Learn about their upcoming star-studded event!

 
For 30 years Truepoint Wealth Counsel has maintained its focus on creating peace of mind and possibility.
 
“We are fee-only fiduciaries and one of the few employee-owned and independent wealth management firms in our region,” explains Truepoint Wealth Advisor Deanna Sicking. “Despite how our industry typically operates, there simply is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to personal finance because money has a way of affecting every aspect of our lives.”
 
With a focus on meaning, Truepoint’s guidance is rooted in their clients’ values and goals, and every client team includes a wealth advisor and four subject-matter experts: investment, financial planning, tax, and estate planning. Truepoint was built to bring these parts together in a way that actually creates greater value.
 
This approach is in stark contrast to the experience many individuals have where they rely on a cadre of varied professionals to try to stitch things together. Unfortunately, much is often lost in the process.
 
“But it’s not just about the integrated technical expertise; it’s also about discovering your ‘why’ – the key to bringing clarity to your financial decision-making,” says Sicking. “And we believe that the sum of money is secondary to the greater meaning your financial results are there to support.”
 
The team at Truepoint is led by Founder & CEO Michael J. Chasnoff and President & Principal Steve Condon. Now with a growing team of 66, more than half of the employees are women, something Sicking says is a rarity in the wealth management industry where only 25 percent of Certified Financial Planners are women. For the past 10 years, Truepoint has made a dedicated effort to better engage female clients through the Truepoint Women’s Wealth Counsel, a community of the firm’s female clients, team members, and professional partners. 
 
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Women’s Wealth Counsel, they’re hosting an upcoming webinar.
 
“We are very excited to welcome Jean Chatzky to our Truepoint Talks webinar series,” says Sicking. “Jean is a celebrated personal finance columnist who many may know as the financial editor of NBC’s TODAY show. As a firm committed to engaging women in their financial lives, Truepoint is especially proud to have this special conversation with Jean in honor of Truepoint’s 30th anniversary.
 
The webinar will take place on October 20 at 4:15pm. You can learn more about the upcoming webinar and register here.
 
To learn more about Truepoint Wealth Counsel and its plethora of services, visit TruepointWealth.com. There, Sicking says, you’ll find more information about the team and their approach. You can stay in touch with Truepoint by joining the email list on the website.

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A university professor is releasing a new collection of short stories to show how the power of storytelling brings people together.

Stories bring us together. Whether they’re stories that intertwine or stories that bring together different groups of people, stories are uniting in what they can do.

Sarah Strickley is launching her own short story collection, Fall Together

“Each story is a re-telling of some kind,” she says. “Some stories re-tell other stories, some re-tell other forms of storytelling: a country song, a newspaper headline, etc.”

Strickley’s experience in storytelling comes from her professional and educational careers. Currently she teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville. “I earned my PhD at the University of Cincinnati and my MFA at the University of Iowa,” she explains.”I joined the creative writing department at UofL about 5 years ago and I am faculty editor of our online literary journal, Miracle Monocle.”

When it comes to her short story collection Fall Together, Strickley says that she feels the book offers a unique level of variety on the formal and thematic levels. “No two stories are the same,” she says. 

The classes that Strickley teaches at the University of Louisville work through several genres of literature, writing, and discussing published work in addition to the students’ own pieces. “The idea is to learn by doing and to learn from each other,” she adds.

While the students in her courses are typically enrolled at the University of Louisville, Strickley does offer the public an opportunity to learn with her via the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

“It’s a great chance to choose a course that matches your needs and sensibilities and anyone is welcome to enroll,” says Strickley.

In addition to Fall Together and the courses she offers as a university professor, Strickley says that she has a new novella coming out this winter called Sister.

To learn more about Strickley, visit www.sarahannestrickley.com

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The founder of this new group helps you live your life and dreams on your own terms. See how she’s helping you do it all, without doing it all on your own.

Daniyiel Walker knows it takes a village. To help her find that village and do all the things she knew she was capable of, she launched The Alpha Female Association. 

“The Alpha Female Association’s mission is to motivate and provide female entrepreneurs with services and resources that create effective social media strategies and lifestyle designs that elevate a powerhouse for both personal and business growth,” she explains. “Along with creating related events, content, and a community of like-minded women.”

Walker says that she was inspired to launch The Alpha Female Association after she found it difficult to run a business from home, be a mother, and be a wife all at the sametime. “I knew I couldn’t be alone in this constant struggle to stay afloat,” she says. “After years of educating myself, advising other women of how to brand and market their online presence, and thriving in healthcare administration, I decided to tell my story on a daily basis and met some amazing women along the way.”

Then, what would become The Alpha Female Association began creating events that harvested moments and relationships with the City of Cincinnati, by helping women who are established or just starting to design the lives of their dreams. 

Walker and The Alpha Female Association provides the tools and services clients need to help them scale and brand their online business with their creative brand development and social media management services. 

Through The Alpha Female Association, Walker hopes to create a community of female entrepreneurs that not only run powerhouse businesses, but also get to live their lives while doing so. 

The Alpha Female Association isn’t the only way that Walker is creating her community, however. 

“I’ve also worked to create and produce a podcast called Alpha Female Motivation,” says Walker. “It’s a podcast that provides experiences, advice, and stories to help women live their dream life. Cliche, maybe, but we all want to live life on our own terms.” 

Season 2 of The Alpha Female Association airs on October 6. The Alpha Female Energy book and planner will be available in December. 

To learn more about The Alpha Female Association, visit www.alphafemaleassociation.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram, and find the podcast by searching “Alpha Female Motivation” on Spotify and iTunes. 

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Learn about a local law firm‘s initiative to lead the way in diversity and women's advancement within their organization and community.

Taft’s Gender Advancement Committee is led by Cincinnati partner Sonya Jindal Tork and Indianapolis partner Tracy Betz.

Back in 2017, Taft Law formed its Gender Advancement Committee to help develop, promote, and advance women attorneys within the firm itself, the legal profession, and the community. 

“The committee works with Taft leadership to identify potential barriers to women’s successes, and then creates plans to eliminate those barriers,” says Taft’s Senior Manager on Business Development Megan Riley.

Before 2017, there was a lot of formal and informal feedback from Taft’s female lawyers. Much of that feedback involved raising questions and making comments as to the long-term viability of the private practice of law as a career. Then, those questions and comments were directed at the profession as a whole, while others were addressed to Taft specifically.

From there Taft’s Managing Partner Robert Hicks realized that if Taft wanted to become the highly regarded “employer of choice” in each of its markets, then it needed to adopt a mindset and approach that helps to attract, retain, and develop female lawyers in a way Riley says was more effective than what the firm had achieve before. “Forming the Gender Advancement Committee seemed like a good way to start working on these issues,” says Riley.  

Today, the Gender Advancement Committee is led by Cincinnati partner Sonya Jindal Tork and Indianapolis partner Tracy Betz. 

Together the two head up the committee that hopes to break down barriers for women attorneys. “We have more women now in leadership positions thanks to a host of initiatives, such as bringing in national experts to disrupt implicit biases and industry leaders who help us benchmark key metrics,” says Riley. “At the same time, especially important given the current environment, we want to focus on creating a modern workplace culture – one that is flexible, inclusive, and supportive of a strong work/life balance.”

In the community, Taft is involved with their “Women of Taft” affinity group, which is made up of female lawyers from the Cincinnati office. “The group celebrates women leaders, strengthens relationships with women clients who own or manage organizations in the Cincinnati area, and helps our lawyers forge relationships with professional and executive women in Cincinnati,” says Riley. “Every year we host a SHE (Support Her Endeavors) event, where we recognize women who are trailblazers or leaders in the community.”

In early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Taft hosted a successful clothing drive in the Cincinnati office benefitting Dress for Success Cincinnati, in honor of International Women’s Day.

Most recently, Taft was selected as one of Working Mother magazine’s 2020 “Best Law Firms for Women.” It was one of only 60 law firms in the country to earn this honor. “This shows the initiatives our Gender Advancement Committee has worked on – from moving to a one-class partnership structure; to offering a 16-week paid parental leave (regardless of gender); to partnering with companies such as CorporateCARE Solutions and MilkStork to offer family-centered benefits – is paying off for our firm,” adds Riley.

To learn more about Taft’s gender advancement and diversity initiatives, click here. You can also keep up with the firm on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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