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Women Professionals Featured on Debevoise’s New Website

March 29, 2016, 11:43 PM

Debevoise & Plimpton has launched a new publishing platform, called Debevoise Women’s Review , featuring Q&As, event coverage and blog posts focused on the professional development and achievements of women lawyers and business professionals.

The site, which went live on Tuesday, features a blog post by firm associate Annie Balla about the importance of eliminating filler-words from your vocabulary , as well as a Q&A with one of the firm’s clients, Kimberly Owens, senior director and associate general counsel at TIAA .

The site differs from many of the other legal blogs, webcasts and content that marketing departments have developed in recent years to elevate a partner or group’s profile within a specific area of law. In contrast, Debevoise Women’s Review is explicitly not focused on any practice and is being proclaimed as a non-commercial enterprise: one of its creators said the site could feature voices from other law firms — even competitors.

The goal, Debevoise said, is purely to create a resource to foster discussion around women’s issues in Big Law and the broader business community.

ALetter From the Editors explains:

TheDebevoise Women’s Reviewwill spotlight topics of interest to professional women, including the achievements, initiatives and advocacy efforts of women and organizations around the world. We hope to provide a range of diverse perspectives through interviews with leading women in business; thoughtful coverage of conferences and pertinent books and articles; and reflective pieces tying in the personal experiences of Debevoise women, alumni and clients.

Our goal is to continue to strengthen our community of Debevoise women while encouraging the legal and business worlds to engage in discussion and collective action around the development, retention and promotion of female professionals.

The letter was signed by four Debevoise lawyers who are leading the initiative: corporate department co-chair Peggy Davenport, women’s resource group co-head My Chi To, and associates Anne Balla and Erica Weisgerber.

In an interview with Big Law Business, To explained that the website is an outgrowth of a Debevoise women’s task force that conducted a year-long review of the firm’s policies and practices related to women, including recruiting, development and retention.

“This seemed to be a natural next step to what we have been doing,” said To.

Asked if there were any specific business goals associated with the website, she said, “this is not a business initiative” and associate Erica Weisgerber explained that the site could even feature lawyers at competitor law firms.

“It provides insight and advice on women in the workplace, setbacks they’ve experienced and triumphs they’ve achieved,” said Weisgerber.

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