Shook, Hardy & Bacon Chosen Among “50 Best Law Firms for Women” in 2017

Working Mother magazine selected Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. to its prestigious list of the 2017 “50 Best Law Firms for Women.” It is the sixth time Shook was chosen for the honor. Working Mother/Flex-Time Lawyers cited Shook’s succession-planning strategies that focus on advancing women and multicultural talent in its profile of the firm. In 2017, Madeleine McDonough became Shook’s first woman chair leading the international firm in supporting clients in the health, science and technology industries. 

“At Shook, we have revamped our succession planning and compensation systems to try to resolve diversity inequities,” explains McDonough, who describes how Shook is proactively leading the charge to create a culture that benefits the firm for all employees, which ultimately benefits clients. “We train our leaders and relationship partners not only to be cognizant of these diversity and cultural competency blind spots within the organization, but to proactively address them by partnering with clients to get a 360-degree view of our own performance.”

At firms included in the 2017 Working Mothers/Flex-Time Lawyers survey, women continued to represent 30 percent of the non-equity lawyers; 20 percent of equity partners at responding firms were women. Shook has 24 percent women equity partners, 40 percent women income partners, and 30 percent women partners overall. Forty percent of the attorneys promoted to Shook’s partner ranks were women in 2017 and 2016.  

“Effective change can only happen when the behavior we want to see is modeled by leaders. Advancing women and other underrepresented groups at Shook has required intentional and strategic effort along with leadership commitment,” says Kori Carew, Shook’s Director of Strategic Diversity Initiatives. “Weaving inclusion into how we develop and manage our diverse talent, improving equitable access to career opportunities, creating an environment that encourages authenticity, and strategically addressing implicit bias and cultural competency are key components to our progress.”

Shook has earned several recognitions for its diversity and including achievements, including:

  • WILEF, Gold Standard Certification – Shook has met all criteria for seven consecutive years.  
  • Equality Illinois, Raising the Bar Award.
  • Vault, “Best Law Firms for Diversity,” including ranking  No. 7 for women in 2016.
  • Human Rights Campaign, Corporate Equality Index, 100 Percent Score for Nine Consecutive Years.
  • The Coca-Cola Company’s “Living the Values” Award (2008, 2013 and 2015) and “General Counsel Diversity Advancement” Award (2017).