MoFo D.C. partner Natalie Fleming Nolen and associate Crystal Kaldjob were in attendance at the 14th Annual Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC) Career Strategies Conference in New York. The two-day conference was attended by over 1,300 general counsel, assistant general counsel, corporate counsel, and in-house legal counsel to Fortune 1000 and Forbes 2000 companies such as Uber, Walmart, American Express, Microsoft, and United Airlines, to name a few.
The two-day conference offered attendees a variety of informative and inspiring sessions to choose from, featuring A-list speakers Iyanla Vanzant of OWN Network’s breakout hit show Iyanla: Fix My Life, comedian and actress Kim Coles, and vice chairman of wealth management at Morgan Stanley, Carla Harris.
Crystal attended interactive sessions at the pre-conference General Counsel Training Boot Camp designed to enhance leadership, management, negotiation, and people skills. According to Crystal, many of the sessions offered messages that appealed to external counsel, such as “How to Succeed as a Business Partner to Your Business Clients,” “Lawyers Who Manage Other Lawyers: Getting the Best Out of Your Team,” and “How to Use Diversity Data and Numbers to Change the Workplace.”
Crystal and Natalie also took part in roundtable discussions with in-house counsel from companies such as Starbucks, Microsoft, American Express, Walmart, and Thomson Reuters, among others. A particularly inspiring session, “Champions Never Tell: 5 Shared Strategies on How Women of Color Survived Storms in the Workplace,” was led by a 20-year military veteran who discussed how to be prepared for the “storm” of the legal profession and strategize to get to where you want to be in your life and career.
In another session, “How to Use Diversity and Numbers to Change the Workplace,” the speakers discussed utilizing data to make a case for increasing diversity and hiring attorneys that better represent the clients and customers that legal teams serve.
Crystal and Natalie also plan to attend next year’s conference in Chicago and look forward to building more of a presence for MoFo within the CCWC community.
“With the firm’s commitment to diversity and the number of diverse attorneys in prominent positions, MoFo is set up to be a great contributor to the CCWC. We have a genuine voice that needs to be heard and the CCWC is the perfect forum to do so,” affirms Crystal.
The CCWC was formed in 2004 by Laurie Robinson Haden, CBS Corporation’s Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, as a support network for in-house women attorneys of color. Laurie’s vision for the CCWC is to provide a platform that facilitates discussions around the unique challenges and institutional barriers that women attorneys of color often face.
Events like these are much more than networking opportunities; they open more doors through relationship-building and information-sharing regarding career advancement and business development. The caliber and strength of the women who support the CCWC’s mission have greatly contributed to the nonprofit organization’s massive growth and reputation. Today, the CCWC has expanded to nearly 4,000 members representing 900 companies around the globe.