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Former New York City Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Director Deborah Martin Owens Joins Sidley

QUOTE – Martin Owens

“Sidley has such a rich history and commitment to diversity, it was an easy decision to join this amazing firm,” said Ms. Martin Owens. “I am very excited to engage personally with lawyers and staff to create innovative, out of the box programming. One of my primary goals is to further empower women, differently able, LGBTQ+ and people of color in advancing their careers while enhancing the diversity and inclusion efforts at the firm.”

QUOTE – Melendez

“Deborah has an excellent reputation in the New York legal community and is recognized for her diversity and inclusion leadership, innovative approach, and delivering results” said Maria Melendez, global Chief Diversity Officer at Sidley Austin LLP. “To further advance to the next level, we are building a team made up of creative thinkers and doers and are poised to lead a paradigm shift exploring innovative ways to advance our diversity and inclusion goals.”

Sidley is pleased to announce that Deborah Martin Owens, former New York City Bar Association Executive Director for its Office of Diversity and Inclusion, has joined Sidley as its East Coast Diversity Director. Ms. Martin Owens is based in the firm’s New York office and responsible for the further development and implementation of programs, policies, and initiatives that support Sidley’s strategic diversity and inclusion goals for our Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. offices.

Ms. Martin Owens led the New York City Bar Association’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion since 2018. During her tenure, she worked very closely with corporations, law firms, managing partners, and practice group leaders, and law schools, students, and others to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She also advised leaders, including board of directors and governance committees on best practices for pipeline initiatives, diverse membership engagement, policies, and procedures. Ms. Martin Owens was responsible for increasing involvement in the City Bar’s Leadership Institute program for mid-level to senior associates by 50%. Under Ms. Martin Owens’s leadership, the City Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion office revitalized the Thurgood Marshall Summer internship program, helping place 27 students in paid summer internships with law firms. Most recently, Ms. Martin Owens developed and implemented a support group for junior partners to help them learn how to effectively develop and maintain relationships during COVID. She is chair of Women of Creating Change, a nonprofit organization that works to increase civic engagement among women.

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