19 Jones Day offices unite for 100th anniversary of Women's Suffrage
On June 4, 2019, nineteen Jones Day offices joined together via video conference for a special afternoon of conversation and celebration to commemorate the courage and perseverance of women determined to change the world.
Yvette McGee Brown, the Firm's Partner-in-Charge of Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement, kicked off the 100th anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Act and the centennial celebration of the United Kingdom's removal of the Sex Disqualification Act with a welcome from the Atlanta Office. She walked through a sampling of the sacrifices suffragettes made, and the challenges they faced, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Lizanne Thomas, Partner-in-Charge of the Southeast U.S. Region, spoke next from the New York Office, where she detailed the accomplishments of the many great women who currently work to shape Jones Day, and those who have paved the way before them.
In addition to the video conference, offices planned their own celebrations, with some inviting clients and others keeping it an internal affair. Below is a sampling of the festivities:
Capitalizing on Yvette McGee Brown's visit to Atlanta, I&WC partner Jamila Hall led a moderated discussion with Yvette on women-elected officials and how to overcome the barriers of running for office. Yvette shared her own experiences when she ran for various elected positions during her impressive career. Following the program, several female lawyers hosted a private dinner for select clients to extend the day's conversation.
Prior to the Firm's remarks, the Boston Office invited Barbara Berenson, author of Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement: Revolutionary Reformers, to present to lawyers, staff, summer associates, and incoming NLGs. Following the program, eight women partners hosted a private dinner at a local restaurant for select clients.
The London Office organized a client dinner for approximately 60 senior female clients to mark a joint celebration of the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which allowed women in the United Kingdom to enter the legal profession for the first time. Keynote speaker Kate Adie, an English journalist, spoke candidly about her experiences as a BBC chief news correspondent and reflected on the various milestones that gave women more access to professions, as well as the challenges that remain.
The Pittsburgh Office hosted a client reception and presentation about the suffrage movement, events leading to and following ratification of the 19th Amendment, and the impact on American politics and society. Dr. Lisa Tetrault, Associate Professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University, and Dr. Emily Anne West, Assistant Professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh, spoke at the event. After the reception, a private dinner was held for select clients and friends of the Firm.
Jess Tava, a board member of the National Woman's Party, kicked off the Washington Office's celebration. Jess spoke to lawyers, summer associates, and the management team, providing the historical context for ratification of the 19th Amendment and tracing the role of several significant women in the more than 70-year-long fight for women's suffrage. The National Woman's Party is an American women's political organization formed in 1916 to fight for women's suffrage. The planning committee and guest speaker wore purple, white, and gold striped sashes similar to those worn at the turn of century by the suffragettes for their marches and speaking tours to raise the public profile of the movement. The tricolors signified loyalty, purity, and life.