Earlier this month, Shearman & Sterling hosted its 2nd Annual Women General Counsel Forum in its New York office. This year’s theme, Conquering 2020, focused on various topics that female general counsel should pay attention to, in order to successfully lead their companies into the next decade.
“The role of General Counsel combines law and business, and involves unique leadership challenges and opportunities,” added Donna Parisi, Shearman & Sterling’s Global Head of Finance, FinTech Foundry and Shearman Women. “Companies are facing significant legal issues involving cybersecurity, labor and employment, antitrust and data privacy, and they need General Counsel who understand these legal issues as well as the company’s commercial imperatives and can provide integrated leadership.”
Throughout the day, female General Counsel from around the world had the opportunity to interact with and learn from each other on a variety of topics, including strategies to address the gender pay gap, navigating Board and CEO transitions, using performance metrics to manage teams, cybersecurity threat mitigation strategies, and navigating global regulatory changes.
To close out of the program, Dr. Jennifer Golbeck, an innovative leader in social media research and communication, joined Donna on stage for a fireside chat to share practical tools that GCs can use to help with data privacy and discuss the bias within AI algorithms, noting, “AI is not the oracle of truth, it is biased, messy and continuously in development.” Later Jennifer cited the importance of consent when collecting data for AI algorithms, and elaborated that “in addition to consent, it is important to understand how you are governing your data in an ethical way that complies with latest laws and regulations.”
The 2nd Annual Women General Counsel Forum was held as part of the firm’s Women’s Initiatives, a program which helps foster new and strengthened relationships with our colleagues, clients, alumni and other professional women, promoting a more inclusive culture that offers a genuinely collaborative work environment. The women-oriented initiatives we’ve launched provide opportunities for professional development and networking within the larger legal and business communities, benefiting both our lawyers and our clients.