Lexington, Ky.-based Dean Dorton (FY18 net revenue of $31.6 million), which launched a women’s initiative last fall, reports that an internal survey and discussions among female professionals have led to policy changes at the firm.
The firm’s women’s initiative committee worked with leadership to improve the maternity leave benefit and established a family leave benefit designed for team members – both men and women – needing to take off for family medical reasons, which includes the birth of a child.
The committee also created a monthly breakfast series to allow all women of Dean Dorton to interact and learn from each other. The breakfast meetings include conversations with recognized female leaders in the community and panels of Dean Dorton leaders sharing their stories and advice.
“The monthly breakfasts have been a great avenue for the women at Dean Dorton to connect with one another,” says Natalie Schuler, manager of tax services and chair of the women’s initiative committee. “The two panel discussions with our own women leaders led to very open and honest discussions.”
The committee recently launched a pilot mentoring program specifically designed to support women in reaching their leadership goals, pairing committee members with leaders within the firm.
The committee’s mission is to promote a firm culture that provides women with support, mentorship and training in order to fully develop their potential as leaders. The committee is made up of seven women across multiple service lines and office locations.
David Bundy, CEO and president of Dean Dorton, says, “More than half our firm is comprised of women, and we have always had strong female role models within the firm. For several years we have noticed an increase in turnover among our female team members after a certain point in a woman’s career. We selected a group of women who would work to help us change that narrative.”