I am thrilled to have the opportunity to speak at the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s (DFA’s) upcoming 2018 Annual Conference Diversity + Flexibility = Embracing Change on Thursday, September 27. There’s a great lineup for the day’s events. And having attended this conference in the past, I can attest to the extremely high quality of the content.
DFA recently interviewed about my own diversity and flexibility insights for their blog. I am sharing that interview here with their permission.
Diversity & Flexibility Alliance: What’s the most important message you hope attendees will learn from your presentation?
Lori Mihalich-Levin: That there are law firms that are committed to creativity when it comes to flexible arrangements, and that these arrangements can play a huge role in retaining talent. There are also clients that are extremely supportive of flexibility, and it’s quite possible to have stellar client relationships and a flexible schedule.
DFA: What was the most meaningful piece of leadership advice you received?
LM-L: Recognize your worth, value, and what you bring to the table. For example, you know all those skills you’re gaining in parenthood? They are, in fact, useful in the workplace, too!
DFA: How do you recharge? Where and when are you most content?
LM-L: I recharge every day in two key ways. In the morning, before breakfast, I do 15 minutes of yoga and meditation on the dining room floor. Yes, I’m sometimes interrupted (and climbed on!) by my kids, but I keep at it. And after work, I recharge by turning off all electronics between 5 and 8pm to really be present with my husband and two boys. I am most content when my day includes both meaningful connections with people I care deeply about and some alone time.
DFA: What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
LM-L: That my career would turn out just fine, without my knowing every detail in advance. I want to tell the 5th grade me who checked a huge book out of the library on various careers, read it cover to cover, and insisted she decide on one, that she should go outside and play!
DFA: How do you pay it forward?
LM-L: I pay it forward by committing to helping new parents navigate the rocky terrain of those early years of working parenthood. I do this not only through the Mindful Return program I founded, but by intentionally connecting with and mentoring new parent colleagues at my office.
DFA: What can we be doing to create more inclusive organizations?
LM-L: We can relax our grip on the belief that there is one, and only one, “way it’s done.” Being open to creative approaches makes an organization more appealing to those who may not “fit the mold.”
If you work at a law firm that is already a member of DFA, I’d encourage you to come to the conference on September 27, 2018! If you work at a law firm and that firm isn’t yet a DFA member, I’d urge the firm to consider joining. The resources are fantastic.
If you need more help getting your head in a better place to return to work after maternity leave, join us for the next session of Mindful Return.
Want more practical tips on working parenthood? Check out my book, Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave.