Nov 15 2019

TYSONS, VA.—Diversity and inclusion aren’t just right from an ethical and legal perspective. They also can be good for a company’s economic interests.

The latest Womble Working Session discussed these issues in a session titled “Leveraging Diversity to Maximize Enterprise Value.” The discussion was led by Womble Bond Dickinson Tech Transactions Partner and Georgetown University Law School Adjunct Professor Todd Harris and Nan DeRenzi, Chief Operating Officer of Jefferson Solutions, and Vice Admiral and former Judge Advocate General of the Navy, where she also served as the senior military adviser for the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations.

DeRenzi and Harris addressed such questions as:

  • Do diverse organizations attract better talent and resources? Create more innovation?
  • Does diversity help us satisfy customer demands in an increasingly competitive marketplace?
  • Is a more diverse organization performing better financially as such?
  • How do we explain this to our colleagues in a non-threatening way?

In addition, DeRenzi discussed her experience in recruiting, retaining, and promoting attorneys in the US Navy JAG Corp, and how diversity factored into these responsibilities. Several audience members also shared their experiences in an open discussion.

The event took place Nov. 5 in Womble Bond Dickinson’s Northern Virginia office. Attendees included Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Sara Mariska, Keith Mendelson, Dean Rutley and David Scott as well as Client Service Director Cameron Hunt.

Womble Working Sessions aren’t typical information sessions – no panelists, no presenters, more open discussion among executives about important topics. Attendees are invited to “roll up their sleeves” and join the conversation as speakers and guests exchange best practices and crowdsource ideas from peer professionals about opportunities and challenges we have in common.

Harris also is currently publishing a series of articles to encourage healthy public discussion regarding support for diversity in workplaces and communities.

diversity working session

diversity working session