The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA), in partnership with Arkansas Business Publishing Group, honored Wright Lindsey Jennings (WLJ) with the 2020 Olivia Farrell Gender Equity Leadership Award, an award designed to help create and foster a gender equitable business environment and to celebrate businesses that believe in the values of equality and equity. The firm was chosen from among five finalists to receive the award at the 32nd Annual Business of the Year Awards on March 11 at the Little Rock Marriott.
“While this is the 2020 award, it truly reflects the long history of this firm in respecting and promoting equality and equity,” said WLJ Managing Partner Steve Lancaster. “Perhaps more importantly, it also serves as a challenge to us to continue these efforts into the future.”
Wright Lindsey Jennings was the first large law firm in the state to elect a female partner and a female chair of its management committee. In 2018, the firm named its first female chief operating officer and, today, half of the leadership positions at the firm are held by women. WLJ’s Woman-Run initiative was launched in 2019 with the purpose of helping current and aspiring woman business leaders and owners through networking, mentorship, education and resources that address the unique needs of women in business.
In order to determine the Gender Equity Award winner, the Women’s Foundation partnered with the Clinton School of Public Service to create a gender equity scorecard to allow Arkansas businesses to evaluate the current state of gender equity in their workplaces, based on metrics such as financial literacy, flexibility, job skills, leadership, mentoring and resources. Follow up submissions and interviews were also conducted by WFA with firm employees.
Firm COO Adrienne Baker and Business Litigation Team Leader Judy Henry accepted the award for WLJ.