On Friday, April 30, 2021, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association presented Barnes & Thornburg LLP with the 2021 Family Friendly Award at the OWBA-OWBF Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The Family Friendly Award is presented as recognition of the firm’s commitment to work-life balance in order to encourage lawyers to take care of their families while pursuing a successful career. Former OWBA President Lisa Whittaker presented the award to Katrina Thompson, Partner at Barnes & Thornburg. Thompson spoke briefly, on behalf of Baker Hostetler, to express their gratitude for receiving recognition from the OWBA.
The OWBA promotes leadership, advancement and interests of woman attorneys through professional education and networking. Sense 2003 the OWBA has chosen a legal employer in Ohio that goes above and beyond to provide employees with an ideal work-life balance arrangement and to ensure that all lawyers are able to raise a family while leading a successful career. As the 2021 recipient of the Family Friendly Award, Barnes & Thornburg has proven their outstanding desire to promote the value of success in the family while succeeding in the career.
During the Annual Meeting Luncheon, the following was shared from their nomination letters:
"Over the past few years, Barnes & Thornburg has significantly amped up their diversity and inclusion infrastructure which has accelerated their accomplishments in the area of family friendly policies. A notable effort to support new parents at all levels of employment was a new policy approved in January 2019 which permits all firm employees with 16 weeks of 100% paid parental live. In 2020, the firm added a sixth talent resource group, BTParents. This group serves as a network for our working parent teammates and allies, and has hosted multiple firmwide programs, including recently a virtual music class for children ages 2-8, and a program with Ruling Our Experiences, which is an organization focused on helping girls cope with today’s stress and pressure.
Even with the uncertainty that 2020 brought with the pandemic, Barnes & Thornburg cut no salaries or positions due to the pandemic and were able to support every employees unique situation with working from home. The firm is committed to continue offering maximum flexibility as their office re-opens.
Lastly, Barnes & Thornburg is perhaps best known for inventing a series of large events dedicated to promoting gender equity in the legal industry, otherwise known as “GELI.” GELI originated in January 2017 out of the firm’s partnership with the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio as facilitated small table discussions that constructively challenge diverse participants to examine their biases in guided discussions. Since the first event, GELI has grown to a partnership with other law firms and resulted in more than a dozen events attracting hundreds of participants in Columbus and Cleveland. They have also taken the program to law schools, clients, and their own team."