DLA Piper's Leadership Alliance for Women's fifth Global Women's Leadership Summit was held on October 16-17, 2018, in Chicago. This award-winning CLE event is held every two years for women general counsel, deputy general counsel and other high-level in-house women lawyers. The 2018 Summit featured a host of dynamic, insightful women panelists and speakers who discussed the ways that general counsel are navigating the demand for transparency in our increasingly connected global environment. The two-day Summit provided ample networking opportunities and an energetic atmosphere, enabling participants to connect with fellow attendees and speakers alike.
Please click on the speaker below to view the full bio.
Equity Group Investments
Sam Zell is the Chairman of Equity Group Investments (EGI), the private investment firm he founded more than 40 years ago. The firm's investments span industries and continents and include interests in finance, energy, transportation, communications, health care and real estate. Mr. Zell is recognized as a founding father of today's public real estate industry after creating three of the largest REITs in history.
He is also Founder and Chairman of Equity International, a private investment firm focused on building real estate-related businesses in international emerging markets. Mr. Zell has been particularly active in bringing Equity International's companies to the public markets.
Three of these investments are listed on the New York Stock Exchange: Gafisa, a leading homebuilder in Brazil; Xinyuan, a fast-growing regional homebuilder in China; and Homex, Mexico's leading homebuilder. A fourth, BR Malls, Brazil's largest retail property owner and operator, is listed on the Bovespa.
Diversity and inclusion efforts are at an inflection point and have become an even greater moral and business imperative than they were historically. In many ways, the wind is now at our backs to drive further institutional change. This guided workshop explored the issues, actions, and social movements contributing to today’s diversity and inclusion sea change. But what got us here will not get us to the next milestone, or the ones after that. We shared best practices to drive lasting and measurable change where there is a demand for increasingly more diverse and inclusive cultures, and participants crowdsourced solutions to some of the most pressing diversity and inclusion challenges. Attendees left with practical suggestions and information for effectuating and leading change in their organizations.
President and CEO
National Women's Law Center
Carla Harris, Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman, Managing Director, and Senior Client Advisor, delivered our keynote presentation on Tuesday night. In her 30 year career, Ms. Harris has had extensive industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and healthcare sectors, and was appointed by President Barack Obama as Chair of the National Women's Business Council.
Senior Client Advisor
Retired Brigadier General Becky Halstead founded her own leader consultancy company, STEADFAST Leadership, following 27 years of service in the US Army and one year as the Executive Director for Leader Development with Praevius Group, Inc. She specializes in inspirational and motivational speaking, developing leader training programs, leader coaching and mentoring.
Brigadier General, Retired
An increasingly connected global business environment, coupled with expectations of transparency from inside and outside an organization, have added new layers of legal complexity to cross-border transactions. A corporation's legal department creates value by providing leadership with the tools necessary to navigate today's highly complex business environment – often while serving as part of that same leadership team. Panelists explored the challenges of global business expansion, the evolving role of the general counsel as a business strategist, and the nuances of managing board and executive communications. Panelists also discussed considerations for efficiently managing and executing cross-border transactions while successfully adhering to a varied set of global compliance standards in an evolving geopolitical and transactional landscape.
Global Co-Chair Leadership Alliance for Women
Co-Chair, Food and Beverage Sector
Managing Partner, Minneapolis Office
Chief M&A Counsel
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
General Counsel, Global Supply Chain
Executive Vice President Strategic Resources
General Counsel and Secretary
Today's workplaces are unique in that they are often populated with up to four generations working in the same environment, and inhouse legal departments are no exception. Effective collaboration and communication across all of the generations can be challenging due to opposing or divergent viewpoints, the perception that different generations have different sets of values, and varying levels of comfort with workplace technology. Panelists discussed the general counsel's role in effectively leading a multigenerational workforce and addressed the use of technology across generations. Panelists also discussed what the legal department and the organization as a whole can do to remain relevant to all generations.
Co-Chair, Class Action Litigation Practice Group
Assistant General Counsel, Employment
Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD)
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Counsel
Bonnie St. John shared the valuable insights she gained from a two-year journey with her teenage daughter into the lives and life lessons of world-renowned leaders, including Hillary Clinton, President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and first woman Chairman of the Board of Deloitte Sharon Allen. Ms. St. John builds on her own inspiring story with vivid portraits of the kind of courage, perseverance, and strength that define leadership in today's society.
Ms. St. John was the first African American ever to win medals in Winter Olympic competition, taking home a silver and two bronze medals in downhill events at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Ms. St. John is a best-selling author, a highly sought after keynote speaker, a television and radio personality, a business owner, a Fortune 500 leadership consultant, and a Rhodes Scholar. After returning from Oxford, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a director for Human Capital Issues on the White House National Economic Council. The celebrated author of seven books, Ms. St. John's most recent book, Micro-Resilience: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive and Energy, outlines a quick, easy and immediately effective program of tools and techniques to give you a competitive edge in today's dynamic world of changes and challenges. In 2015, Ms. St. John was inducted into the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Hall of Fame.
As companies and business models continue to innovate at a blistering pace, in-house counsel face increasing pressure to keep up. How can today's general counsel manage and leverage technology and innovation to support their business clients? Panelists, who are at the forefront of technology and innovation in in-house legal departments, discussed their best practices for assessing and implementing new technologies to support their businesses, while balancing the need to retain and promote human and knowledge capital against the drive for efficiency. Panelists explored how technology is transforming the way lawyers work generally today, and ways in which they have adjusted to work with their business clients.
Global Co-Chair, Technology Sector
Partner, Intellectual Property and Technology
Technology, Data & Commercial
Associate General Counsel
Senior Vice President and
General Counsel, Legal Operations
The development of technology has improved the efficiency and speed with which global companies conduct day-to-day business in every industry. Technology has impacted core methodology, key analytics, safety, quality and communications. New technology also creates additional vulnerabilities for exploitation of highly confidential data and critical operations. As the cyber-risk profile evolves, regulators are focused on creating and enforcing data security requirements throughout the company, including at executive levels. Panelists explored the role of the general counsel as a strategist in helping the business assess the value and significance of technology with risk mitigation in mind. Panelists addressed best practices for being prepared for a cyberattack, and the role of the legal department in a cross-disciplinary response team. In addition, panelists focused on increased risks for officers and directors and duties associated with reporting to the executive team and the board.
Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
AMN Healthcare Services
Senior Vice President and General Counsel,
Deputy General Counsel
Principal, Data Protection Security
Intellectual Property and Technology Group
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
"There was a depth of experience in the presenters – as well as guests – and excellent speakers that made it very special."
"It was one of the best conferences I've ever attended – and that's based on decades of attending conferences. The speakers and panelists were truly insightful and impressive."
"It was an honor to be included in such a distinguished and accomplished group of women, and I am already counting down to 2020!"
"I left the Summit feeling inspired and enabled."