WIHCL Webinars: Know Your Own Strength
In 2016, WIHCL will conduct 14 webinars on leadership development and financial acumen—and the first of these, to be held on March 23, will begin by exploring the Korn Ferry Competency Framework, an assessment tool developed by that executive recruiting firm. The framework has been used for years to help identify executives' strengths and weaknesses. Christine Fuchs, vice president of Global Assessment Services at Korn Ferry, has been applying the assessment specifically to women in-house counsel. Drawing on her work, the webinar series will give attendees a chance to complete the assessment ahead of time. During the first webinar, faculty will interpret the results in aggregate and compare them to those of both executives and attorneys in general, as well as to male executives. In addition to providing attendees with personal-development insights, the results will help guide future WIHCL leadership development programming.
"The assessment tool will be the foundation of this webinar series," says Fuchs, who is working with webinar faculty on the project. "It lets women in-house counsel see the areas where they can focus improvement efforts, while creating a common language around development for all participants. A development plan is like a road map, and the assessment gives people the coordinates and signposts they need to progress."
WIHCL's 10-City Tour
Over the past two months, WIHCL has held receptions in 10 cities across America to introduce the organization to women in-house counsel in person—and the events have been very well received, says Lloyd Johnson, WIHCL executive director, with about 40 women attending each event. "We felt that our programs could be best explained in a face-to-face environment, where you have the energy of all those people in one room," Johnson says. One key measure of success: "These are very busy people. Yet, at each reception, most of the women stayed and continued the conversation for up to two hours after the formal event was over."
Pursuing the 20/35 Vision
To support its goal of increasing the percentage of women GCs in the Fortune 500 to 35% by 2020, WIHCL has launched a series of 10 regional one-day workshops. These focus on building three executive competencies: managerial courage, business/financial acumen, and self-learning and awareness. The workshops target women who report directly to general counsel and who are themselves on a path to stepping into that role. With up to 24 participants in each workshop, most of the time will be spent in small-group breakout sessions that emphasize peer-to-peer learning. Faculty will be made up of GCs, CFOs, and board members of public companies.
"This is about creating a community that will help accelerate your path toward leadership," notes Lily Van Hughes, chief legal officer at Public Storage, who has attended such events. "It helps you develop a network of advisors and peers throughout the journey, so that once you arrive, you have two or three true confidants who can help you succeed."