Munsch Hardt is deeply committed to attracting, retaining and advancing women within the Firm. In our effort to achieve this goal, we maintain a vibrant and active Women’s Initiative Group that has the full support of the Firm’s Management Committee. Led by Devon Sharp, a Litigation Shareholder who started her legal career as a Summer Associate with the Firm, the Group spearheads a number of programs to help women attorneys achieve the highest levels of professional success and personal satisfaction.
- Career Development: Munsch Hardt utilizes both formal and informal mentoring to address the challenges – and opportunities – that are unique to female attorneys. Through one-on-one discussions, roundtable sessions and a continuing dialogue among the members of the Women’s Initiative Group, female attorneys gain advice and guidance on developing their practices, identifying potential areas of specialty or expertise, forming and growing client relationships, positioning themselves to take on leadership roles and responsibilities and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
- Leadership: The women attorneys at Munsch Hardt occupy critical leadership roles within the Firm, including Practice Group Leaders, positions on the Management Committee and positions on various Firm committees. The Firm recognizes the importance of having both female and male attorneys and perspectives in its leadership ranks. The Firm also encourages and assists its attorneys in seeking out leadership opportunities in the community and becoming involved in organizations and causes for which they have a passion.
- Networking: Munsch Hardt hosts quarterly lunches and/or happy hours for its women attorneys to encourage social networking, to facilitate mentoring opportunities and to provide a fun and casual way for the women in our Firm to strengthen their connections with one another.
With the input and support of female attorneys throughout the Firm, Munsch Hardt recently expanded its parental leave policy to: (i) increase paid leave from 12 to 14 weeks for primary caregivers upon the birth or adoption of a child; (ii) add paid paternity leave; and (iii) offer a Parental Leave Transition Program, under which the attorney-primary caregiver’s billable hours requirement is reduced by 25 percent in the month leading up to parental leave and the month in which the attorney returns from parental leave.
In recognition of our expanded parental leave policy, Munsch Hardt received the “2017 Outstanding Firm” award from the Travis County Women Lawyers Association. The annual awards ceremony recognizes one organization that hires and retains significant numbers of women and/or adheres to forward-thinking workplace policies.
Community Involvement & External Leadership
Munsch Hardt encourages its women attorneys to seek out leadership roles both within the Firm and in their communities. Our women have a strong presence in local organizations geared toward women in the law and women achieving professional success, including the following:
- 4Word Women
- American Bar Association – Women in the Profession Committee
- Attorneys Serving the Community
- Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) – Austin
- Dallas Bar Association – Women’s Equality Day Luncheon
- Houston Heights Woman’s Club
- Houston Association of Women Attorneys
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- New York Women’s Bar Association
- Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association
- Women’s Energy Network
- Women’s Contractors Association