Chicago Chapter Meeting - A Look at the Gender Gap and Diversity Initiatives in the Legal Industry

  • 13 Sep 2018
  • 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Polsinelli, 150 N. Riverside Plaza, Suite 3000, Chicago IL

Please join the Chicago Chapter of Women in eDiscovery for our September luncheon.

WHEN: Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Polsinelli, 150 N. Riverside Plaza, Suite 3000

TOPIC: A Look at the Gender Gap and Diversity Initiatives in the Legal Industry

* Lunch will provided by our sponsor, Ringtail E-Discovery Software.

This luncheon will feature a panel of 3 speakers discussing the gender gap and various diversity and inclusion initiatives being undertaken in the legal industry. Women and people of color continue to experience unequal treatment when it comes to compensation and upward mobility. At this luncheon, we will look at what is currently happening in the legal profession with respect to these disparities, and some of the change that is being implemented by diversity professionals.

The following panelists will be presenting:

CAROLYN ABERMAN, Managing Partner, Legal Division at Lucas Group

Carolyn joined Lucas Group in 2017 as a Managing Partner in the Legal practice group. In her role, she works with high-level legal talent to place them in a wide range of legal positions within law firms of any size as well in publicly- or privately-held corporations. Having worked in public interest as well as at law firms and in-house, Carolyn is able to offer her candidates and clients unique insight to help make matches that lead to long-term success. Believing that everyone is best served by taking extra time on the front end, she drills down to the crux of what makes people tick to help guarantee great results on the back end.

Diversity in the legal profession has long been an issue of concern for Carolyn and in April 2018 she released a White Paper entitled “The Legal Gender Gap: Where Are All the Women Partners”. In this White Paper Carolyn debunked the “ambition gap” argument, identified 3 factors for the gender disparity and provided advice for employers and employees to work towards making positive change. Her White Paper can be found at:

Prior to recruiting, Carolyn spent 14 years as a practicing attorney for both small and large firms as well as in-house counsel for a publicly-traded global company with sales of more than $4.1 billion. She transitioned to recruiting in 2011, and since that time has worked with companies and law firms to place paralegals and attorneys in associate, partner and in-house counsel positions.

Away from the office, Carolyn enjoys spending time with her family including her attorney husband, her three children and two mini Australian Shepherds. She is also co-founder of Chicago School GPS, a company that works with families living in Chicago who need guidance in getting a great education within the city limits. Carolyn holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

CYN VARGAS, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Hinshaw LLP

Cyn Vargas, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Hinshaw LLP, works closely with the Diversity & Inclusion Partner to develop, implement and monitor programs that promote diversity within the firm. She is responsible for developing training and initiatives to create and foster an open and inclusive environment and provides strategic advice and counsel to senior management on diversity-related issues. Specifically, Cyn co-planned, executed, and presented at the inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee, developed and implemented various diversity data reports which are used to identify trends and develop strategies for increased D&I at the firm, and is the project manager for bi-annual D&I publication (including writing content and creative direction) that is promoted internally and externally to current and potential clients.


Jennifer Westropp (pgp: she, her, hers) leads global Talent Development and Diversity & Inclusion at Chicago-based e-discovery software maker Relativity. In her role, she’s responsible for enterprise-wide design and delivery of strategy, programs, and content to support employee growth and help create an inclusive, high-performance culture. Jen is also a Design Thinking aficionado, a certified Professional in Human Resources experienced in Talent Acquisition and Leadership Development, a mom of two, a Purdue University grad, a world traveler, an avid checklist maker, and a perennial process improver. She initially got involved in diversity and inclusion work because she wanted to be seen and recognized in the workplace and society as all those things—in addition to being a woman and Asian American. She cried when she saw the trailer of Crazy Rich Asians because it was the first time in her life that she’d seen anyone like herself playing a leading role in a mainline feature film in America. She’s now on a mission to help Relativity, the legal and tech industries, and the world create a workplace where no one ever feels unrepresented or unrecognized.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at the following link:

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