Faegre & Benson is among 32 U.S. law firms to qualify for the Gold Standard Certification by Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF)—a designation for firms that have integrated women in top leadership positions and compensated them well. The organization released the initial list of qualifiers on June 14, the National Law Journal reports.
WILEF invited more than 300 firms with 100 or more attorneys to apply for the certification by June 1. To be certified, firms had to meet at least three of the six criteria:
- Women account for at least 20 percent of equity partners.
- Women represent at least 10 percent of firm chairs and office managing partners.
- Women make up at least 20 percent of the firm's primary governance committee.
- Women represent 20 percent or more of the firm's compensation committee.
- Women make up at least 25 percent of practice group leaders or department heads.
- Women represent at least 10 percent of the top half of the most highly compensated partners.
According to WILEF National Chairwoman Elizabeth Anne "Betiayn" Tursi, two-tiered partnerships at law firms, with large majority of women in non-equity partner roles, account for the relatively small number of firms that achieved the Gold Standard certification.
WILEF is dedicated to creating a dialogue for the purpose of educating women in law firms on how to become leaders in the workplace and in the community by building, exercising and implementing a strong sense of empowerment.
In May 2011, Faegre & Benson launched the Forum for Women's Achievement. The Forum provides a platform for women lawyers to build relationships, create business opportunities, increase professional advancement and, ultimately, achieve long-term success.