Marcum & Kliegman LLP has launched a new Women’s Leadership Development Program with neighboring law firm Farrell Fritz PC.The program, which is open to employees of both firms but not open to the public –yet -- was developed to provide a supportive venue for female professionals to explore issues that affect them in the workplace and develop skills to enrich their careers, said Marcum manager of training and development, Nancy Chen.

“We have women in our staff who show great promise and we would like to encourage them to develop their professional skills and move up and advance if they are motivated to do so,” Chen said.

According to Chen, building networking skills is a top priority among women at both firms, as discovered from a survey distributed at the end of the first session in January, which 32 women attended. Chen said that about 10 percent of Marcum’s partner group is women, while the percentage at Farrell Fritz is a little higher.

Other issues the program plans to tackle are balancing work and life, common roles females adopt at work and communication in the workplace.

“Networking styles, communications styles are a little different,” Chen said. “We see men on the golf course. How do women network? At professional associations. We’ve had female partners learn to play golf to be a part of those networking circles. I think we definitely need to build up self-confidence skills and specific technical networking skills so we are encouraged to present our business cards, present ourselves.”

Meetings are scheduled for April, July, October and January 2008.

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