Award for Outstanding Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion to be Presented to Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession

HARRISBURG (April 27, 2016) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Commission on Women in the Profession (WIP) will receive the 2016 Award for Outstanding Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion from the PBA Diversity Team. The award will be presented during the PBA Women in the Profession Annual Luncheon on May 11 in Hershey.

Established in 2010, the PBA Diversity Team works collaboratively with PBA leadership, staff and all other PBA-related groups and entities to promote and enhance existing diversity initiatives and to assist with creating new opportunities. The award recognizes a PBA entity for outstanding efforts, contributions or service to promote diversity and inclusion in the association's membership and for demonstrating commitment to and leadership in promoting full and equal participation in the legal profession.

The WIP's mission is to assess the status of women in the legal profession and identify barriers that prevent them from fully participating in the work, responsibilities and rewards of the profession. The commission makes recommendations to the PBA Board of Governors and House of Delegates for actions to solve problems. In addition, the commission identifies and develops educational programs to address discrimination against women lawyers and the challenges they encounter in their careers.

The WIP is cited as having a long-term, demonstrated commitment to and leadership in promoting full and equal participation within the legal profession of women, persons of color, persons with disabilities and persons with differing sexual orientation and gender identities.

The WIP is furthering the implementation of the PBA Strategic Diversity Plan, which provides a blueprint for enhancing diversity within the legal profession. The WIP developed its own diversity mission statement and created its own Diversity Committee to explore ways to encourage women of all backgrounds to join and be active in the commission and the PBA.

To recognize women who focus on leadership and mentoring, the WIP annually presents the Anne X. Alpern Award and the Lynette Norton Award. Its Honor Roll of Legal Organizations Welcoming Women Professionals honors Pennsylvania firms, corporate law developments and other organizations providing legal services that have instituted programs or initiatives that help women lawyers continue and advance in their careers while maintaining a work/life balance.

The WIP routinely issues its "Report Card," which highlights collected data on the PBA's women members and measures the evolving participation of women in the association, in legal practice and in the judiciary.

Statewide and regional educational programs, presentations and seminars sponsored by the WIP address specific issues facing women and other attorneys of diverse backgrounds.

For many years, the WIP has maintained a mentoring program that provides support and guidance to young women lawyers through a voluntary network of experienced and established members of the bar.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 27,000 lawyers who are members of the association.