Akerman’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) provides a system of advocacy, education, and support to advance women within Akerman, the legal profession, and the communities in which we live and work. The three core objectives of WIN are recruiting and retention, advancement and promotion, and business development and we are committed to ensuring diversity and inclusivity in WIN endeavors.
WIN implements structural support for women, including the establishment of formal mentoring relationships that drive professional advancement, the organization of professional development training and opportunities, the hosting of internal networking events, and the creation of educational programs that address issues affecting professional women.
Driving our efforts and accountability, Akerman signed on to Mansfield Rule 2.0, a rigorous law firm certification program requiring the consideration of at least 30% women and minorities for all equity partner promotions, lateral partner searches, and leadership roles within the firm. Our work has yielded results with Law360 naming Akerman as one of the top five large law firms in its "2019 Glass Ceiling Report" on the legal industry's progress in increasing female representation at all levels of the organization. Today, an unprecedented number of women now serve in practice leadership positions within Akerman, more than 50% of our recent partner promotions were women, and our firmwide governing committees are substantially diverse.
Recent Programs and Ongoing Partnerships
We host and participate in a number of important initiatives focused on creating meaningful change for women in law, including:
- Women in Law Hackathon: Akerman is a participant in Diversity Lab's series of think-tank focused programs on solving equality and inclusion problems in big law firms. Hosted in collaboration with Stanford Law School and Bloomberg Law, concepts originating from the competition evolve into initiatives deployed throughout the industry to address issues such as diversity and compensation.
- The Mansfield Rule: An initiative developed at the inaugural Hackathon, Akerman is a signatory to this initiative requiring law firms to affirmatively consider qualified women and lawyers of color for significant leadership roles and responsibilities.
- OnRamp Fellowship: Akerman is one of only 15 national law firms involved in the first "returnship" ever launched in the legal field targeted to experienced women lawyers eager to return to practice after an extended hiatus.
- National Association of Women Law Judges (NAWJ): Akerman is a member of the Resource Board of the NAWJ to provide ongoing operational advice and substantive assistance in the initiation and implementation of its national and regional judicial education programs.
- WIN Lab®: Akerman is a corporate sponsor of an accelerator program created by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
- Financial Empowerment and Estate Planning for Women Professionals. Akerman co-created and regularly hosts a series of programs for women to confront and address common issues women face in securing their financial future, including pay equity, loss of earnings due to caregiving, and a longer life expectancy than men.