Sidley joins in the global celebration of Women’s History Month throughout March—a special time to honor and commemorate women’s contributions in history. Women’s History Month began in 1978 as a local “Women’s History Week” celebration in Santa Rosa, California, and soon spread to other communities around the world. The National Women’s History Alliance successfully lobbied for national recognition, and in 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring National Women’s History Week. Congress passed Public Law 100-9 in 1987 designating March as “Women’s History Month;” since 1995, it has been designated by annual Presidential proclamation.
As part of our celebration, we proudly highlight Sidley’s own women leaders in our Illuminating Excellence profile series. We invite you to learn more about our firm’s exceptional women leaders as they share memorable career highlights and the inspiring words they live by.
Women in Leadership: Fostering Personal and Professional Growth
Our passion for expanding horizons for women in the firm, our clients and the business community at large inspired Sidley’s Women in Leadership series, which promotes networking for women, including the firm’s lawyers, in-house counsel and other professionals. Through a mix of engaging informal networking gatherings and business presentations, these events give women lawyers the opportunity to build relationships and develop the skills essential for success.
The Chicago CRPW hosted a Women in Leadership event on January 19 facilitated by Second City Works, the business-to-business training side of the iconic Second City theatre and improvisational school. Sidley women, alumnae, clients and friends of the firm learned to use various improvisational exercises to improve their ability to read a room, present themselves authentically and “own” their professional persona.
Sidley’s women lawyers understand the importance of giving back to the community.
Sidley’s New York Sidley’s New York office hosted a “SidleyWomen” Evening of Service in partnership with New York Cares and Sheltering Arms. More than 100 women clients, friends of the firm, Sidley lawyers and summer associates assembled summer reading kits for underserved school children.
Working Mother named Sidley as one of the 2020 “Best Law Firms for Women.” This annual list highlights law firms’ efforts and successes in recruiting, retaining, and promoting women lawyers. Selection criteria is reflected in a rigorous application process that examines factors including female lawyer representation, schedule flexibility, paid time off, parental leave, and the development and retention of women. This is the 12th year that Sidley has been included on the list.
Sidley was recognized by Yale Law Women as one of their "Top Ten Family Friendly Firms," a list of law firms that are leaders in developing and practicing family friendly policies. Sidley is one of four law firms to appear on the 2009, 2010 and 2011 lists.
Sidley was named to the Women in Law Empowerment Forum’s (WILEF) inaugural list of law firms with Gold Standard Certification--a designation for firms that integrate women lawyers into top leadership positions. In 2019, Sidley received Gold Standard Certification for the eighth time.
Sidley received the inMotion Inc. 2011 and 2009 Commitment to Justice Award and a special Legal Team Award for Sidley’s 2004–2009 Sidley Externship Program.
In recognition of our firmwide diversity initiative, Sidley is one of only three law firms to receive the Catalyst Award given by Catalyst, the leading research and advisory organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for women and business.
Sidley participates in a number of initiatives committed to achieving specific and recognizable goals with respect to diversity, including:
- Signatory, Chicago Bar Association’s “Call to Action” on Women’s Leadership in the Legal Profession
- Signatory, Association of the Bar of the City of New York “Statement of Diversity Principles”
- Signatory, Los Angeles County Bar Association’s 2005 Statement on Diversity Goals and Principles
- Founding member, the Project for Attorney Retention (PAR), an initiative of the Center for Worklife Law at University of California Hastings College of Law