Authority Magazine and Medium.com sat down with Pond Lehocky Giordano’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Jennifer Heinz, for a conversation about being a woman in leadership for their series “Women of the C-Suite: Leadership Lessons I Learned As An Accomplished Female C-Suite Executive.” Heinz’s article, Why We Should Start a Movement to Incorporate more Laughter and Music into the Workplace, shares valuable advice to other women leaders.
“If I could inspire a movement it would be incorporating laughter and music into the workplace,” Heinz shared. “Laughter and music are two things that truly are universal. Incorporating laughter and music into the workplace has way too many positive benefits for me to name. It’s what brings us together and would make for a much happier world.”
Heinz is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Pond Lehocky Giordano. She has held that position since the firm opened in 2010. In her role, she deals with many different aspects of starting and running a law firm, including recruiting, training, marketing, accounting, IT, operations, and facilities. Under her watch, Pond Lehocky has grown from 22 employees in a single Philadelphia office to more than 100 employees in offices nationwide today.
Pond Lehocky Giordano has embraced a modern, personalized leadership model with business professionals helping to form and implement the firm’s strategy. Pond Lehocky’s partners recognized that the legal profession has been slow to change in the face of societal and demographic shifts. The executive team at the firm is proudly 50 percent female.
“I take pride in creating and cultivating a diverse, inclusive work environment. In my career I have been fortunate enough to have a voice and it is important for me as a female leader to ensure that we are allowing others to do the same,” Heinz shared. “Within the last year we have adopted gender pronouns in our email signatures. This is a very small step in our efforts to show the community and our employees that we practice what we preach in terms of our culture of an inclusive workplace. We are not afraid to erase the stigma of a stereotypical law firm. We also have a diversity and inclusion committee that meets monthly in our workplace to discuss current events, goals, and objectives of the committee and ways that we can make a difference in our workplace and our community.”
If law firms are to embrace effective change, they need strong leaders with strategic vision and the ability to secure buy-in from their colleagues. Thus, Pond Lehocky is turning to business professionals with skills and expertise beyond the legal realm.
“Be confident but not cocky. Be empathetic and genuine and more importantly be willing to roll your sleeves up and get dirty. That’s when you will gain trust from your team,” Heinz said.