Diversity in Focus at Women’s Hackathon

Law firm partners bring ideas for women’s advancement

By Tony Flesor

LAW WEEK COLORADO

DiversityLab’s Women in Law Hackathon was searching for three good ideas. It ended up finding nine.

The hackathon, held June 24 at Stanford Law School brought together 54 attorneys  from around the country to develop new ideas to solve the gender parity gap for law firm leaders. The competition, inspired by Silicon Valley hackathons and the TV show Shark Tank, awarded five teams with money to be donated to organizations devoted to women’s advancement, and law firms are already expressing interest in several ideas’ implementation. The first-place team won with a gender-neutral idea that seeks to tie compensation to a broader range of law firm activities than what is typically included in compensation systems. 

In addition to the participants, the event brought together 18 expert advisors and nine Stanford Law students to develop ideas for advancing and retaining women in law firm leadership positions, and nine judges from sponsors Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School and general counsel from companies such as Microsoft, PepsiCo and Walmart Stores. The winning teams granted a total of $32,500 in prize money — $22,500 from Bloomberg Law and Philanthropies and $10,000 donated from DiversityLab — to nonprofits.

Caren Ulrich Stacey, founder and CEO of DiversityLab, said she was pleased by the community aspect of the event that brought together lawyers who might otherwise be competing for work in order to come up with solutions to a shared problem.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the July 11, 2016 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.