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Transforming Women’s Leadership: A strong 2019 and demands increase for the programme

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law (TWLL) was launched by Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute in 2016 as an engagement programme in the US to do our part and help find ways to level the legal professional playing field and create a more equal future for female senior leaders in law.

TWLL kicked off its fourth year in 2019, continuing its herstory of expanding geographically Thomson Reuters colleagues collaborated with legal professionals across the globe by launching programs in Dubai and in Japan.

You can view the full TWLL 2019 Annual Report here. Highlights include:

  • TWLL United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland launched first-of-its-kind of research analysing what diversity initiatives produce the best return on investment in terms of women’s advancement to the executive ranks of law firms.
  • In addition, TWLL hosted two roundtables gatherings in Dubai where women discussed the role of internal targets for women’s representation at senior levels and the double-bind women face by advocating assertively and confidently.
  • In the US, TWLL expanded into the tax and accounting industry with the launch of Women in Tax research report.

A look back at TWLL’s Herstory

Since its inception, TWLL has experienced strong growth and engagement in the legal market:

  • 2016—TWLL was initiated in the US with a full-year program that included several intimate roundtable dinners with clients and large-event programming.
  • 2017—TWLL saw its first cross-border programming with roundtable gatherings featuring clients in Hong Kong and Australia and an all-day conference for lawyers in Canada. In addition, TWLL in the US convened clients for the first ever Women in Law Firm research. (You can read more about TWLL in 2017)
  • 2018—TWLL expanded again with the launch in the UK and Ireland of its first full-year of programming and held its first annual conference in London. In addition, TWLL expanded in Asia with a roundtable gathering of clients in Japan for the first time. (You can read more about TWLL in 2018.)

From TWLL to TWL in 2020

Even in the tumultuous times that has marked 2020 so far, TWLL is growing, and Thomson Reuters is committed this year and beyond. We are excited to launch in Latin America this year, and officially and drop the second “L” off our name at the Enterprise level to reflect our commitment to investing in tax and accounting, in addition to the legal industry. More specifically:

  • TWL Brazil—To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), Brazil held an event featuring legal scholars and lawyers as authors of Direito Exponencial, a book on privacy and cybersecurity with all women authors. More than 100 legal professionals and Thomson Reuters colleagues attended.
  • TWL Argentina—TWL was launched here with an event aimed to analyse and debate the role of women within the legal segment. Topics covered included how equality among the genders is important for business performance, the invisible barriers that women face in advancement—and how collectively, men and women can work together on the way forward.

Tax & Accounting—To celebrate IWD and Women’s History Month in the US, Thomson Reuters’ Tax & Accounting blog ran a five-part digital series featuring women owners of tax and accounting firms, who have been successful in transforming their businesses to an advisory practice—a hot topic within the industry. Advisory practices allow tax professionals to make up for revenue that is being cannibalised because of the automation of tax compliance, audit, and other services.

TWLL in Europe

As part of the wider Thomson Reuters TWL programme, our TWLL chapter in the United Kingdom and Ireland will continue its focus on legal professionals. Though, in 2020, we have now expanded our reach to be across Europe. Also, in addition to informative content our TWLL site, roundtable dinners, and annual conference in London—we will be launching a webinar series in May.

Making a difference

When TWLL was launched four years ago, we could not have imagined the incredibly positive reception and how requests from professionals would encourage us to grow the programme across the world. With the global changes due to COIVD-19 and the ongoing expansions of our programme—we look forward to continuing to help find ways to move the dial on gender inequality and support creating an equal future for senior leaders.

”Building Back Better” – an A to Z for leaders in law Empowering change to build back better – a four-step guide for law firm leaders What COVID-19 tells us about the future of work for lawyers The Hearing: Episode 72—Joeli Brearley (Pregnant Then Screwed) The future of diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal sector—time for a transformative approach The Hearing: Episode 66 – Christina Blacklaws (strategic consultant and the 174th president of the Law Society) Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law—Advancing Equality for Women at the Bar Webinar Podcast: gender equality and cultural change during uncertain times Thomson Reuters President and CEO, Steve Hasker—we must do more Insights for diverse leadership and a culture to support change—TWLL webinar series