The Women’s Initiative’s 2023 Mentoring Circle Kickoff Meeting

Babst Calland’s Women’s Initiative Committee hosted a breakfast meeting last week to celebrate one of the group’s key initiatives:  Mentoring Circles.  The Firm’s women attorneys gathered to meet the members of their new 2023 mentoring circles, which are small groups designed to connect the Firm’s women attorneys across Babst Calland’s practice groups and offices.  These mentoring circles encourage collaboration and provide an opportunity for the attorneys to identify synergies to enhance each attorney’s practice and create integrated teams to serve our clients’ varying legal needs.  On behalf of the Firm’s Women’s Initiative Committee, current Chair, Carla Castello, also previewed some of the exciting projects on the horizon.  Look for more great things to come from this group in 2023!

Women’s Initiative Hosts Lunch & Learn Panel

Babst Calland Women’s Initiative held its spring Lunch & Learn Panel, featuring four of the Firm’s shareholders—Lisa Bruderly, Kathy Condo, Jean Mosites, and Marnie Schock. The firm’s newest shareholder, Christina Manfredi McKinley, moderated the discussion, asking the panel to speak on issues relevant to women in the profession. The panelists shared advice and stories on topics including retention and recruitment of women attorneys, work-life balance, and business development. Advice on each topic varied based upon each panelist’s respective experience and practice area, with panelists representing the Firm’s litigation, environmental, and corporate and commercial practice groups. The Committee is grateful to our panelists, our moderator, and all who attended the Women’s Initiative’s first in-person event of 2022.

The Women’s Initiative’s Plans for 2022

As the Firm returns from remote operations across our offices, Babst Calland’s Women’s Initiative has taken the opportunity to refresh its committee objectives and to focus on opportunities to allow its women attorneys to reconnect with their colleagues. The Initiative was formed by former Babst shareholder Molly Meacham and the Initiative’s current chair, Carla Castello, and continues to grow in membership as the Firm expands.

The Women’s Initiative Committee’s first task of 2022 was to develop new pairings for its existing mentoring circles. Each mentoring circle includes 6-7 attorneys across the Firm’s practice groups and offices. The circles serve several important goals. Most importantly, they allow women attorneys from different practice groups to connect for advice and support, and to identify synergies to enhance each attorney’s practice and create integrated teams to serve our clients’ varying legal needs.

The Committee, led by Castello, also spearheaded efforts to apply for membership in the Allegheny County Bar Association’s ALLY Initiative. (ALLY: Attorneys, Learning as allies, Living as allies, and Yielding results.) The ALLY Initiative endeavors to engage law firms and other legal organizations to create more inclusive and equitable workplaces by participation in various key programs and projects targeting those objectives. Babst Calland was accepted as a member of the first ALLY Initiative class, and Castello, along with managing partner Don Bluedorn and Committee member Jessica Altobelli attended the ALLY Initiative’s Inaugural Event at the August Wilson center on March 15th. The Women’s Initiative Committee will work with Babst Calland’s DEI Committee to implement the ALLY Initiative’s goals.

The Women’s Initiative’s next undertaking in 2022 will be a Lunch & Learn panel in early April for the Firm’s women attorneys. The panel, moderated by shareholder Christina McKinley, consists of shareholders Lisa Bruderly, Kathy Condo, Jean Mosites, and Marnie Schock. The panelists will provide their perspective and insight on various topics, including professional and business development, tips and tricks, and lessons learned throughout their careers.