Women have been building community and doing extraordinary – and often unpaid and unrecognized – work for centuries. We have consistently been successful by coming together and being vocal, by using our collective voice to advance women and the issues we care about.
This year’s theme, Our Bold Voices, was both an invitation and a challenge to find and use our unique voices to express ourselves and to advocate for others. We each have that voice at the very core of our beings. When we're using it, we feel harmonic. Creative. Powerful. Stripped down to its essence, you might say this theme is about the power of self-love and knowing your authentic self. With that foundation, we then can share our individual stories, which are the pathway to joining together to create a collective force.
As attorneys, we have a unique platform to facilitate change, ensure the protection of fundamental rights, and amplify voices that historically have been marginalized. We are truthsayers and our voices are vital. Even as the pandemic and all of its complications lingers on, this organization has remained a sisterhood that supports each other and pushes one another to live boldly and thrive.
And wow, did you all GO BOLD this year. Some of the accomplishments include:
Our membership continued to grow; we are now nearly 1500 strong! The Membership Committee also launched a monthly Virtual Power Lunch to welcome new members and share ways to get involved in the organization.
The Judicial Committee conducted due diligence for 14 state judicial vacancies, and endorsed nine candidates, four of whom were ultimately appointed to the bench. In addition, we introduced the organization’s first-ever Federal Endorsement Policy, under which we conducted due diligence and endorsed one candidate who was later selected by the White House.
The Legal Services Committee offered a number of innovative legal and non-legal volunteer opportunities this year, and hosted a powerful half-day training and panel presentation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
Our Public Policy Committee offered its BOLD voice to the 73rd General Assembly. Committee members worked on over 28 key issues this year supporting 12 bills, opposing four, and monitoring another 12. This resulted in over a dozen instances of testimony. Notably, the CWBA played an instrumental role in the successful passage of RHEA, Colorado’s Reproductive Health Equity Act. In addition, subject matter experts continued to lend their passion and knowledge to the anti-discrimination employment laws known as the POWR Act, and navigated some unexpected and very challenging issues around potential amendments to the equal pay law.
Another key priority issue this year focused on our judiciary, including judicial performance and discipline. The CWBA submitted focused written comments to the State Commission on Judicial Performance's proposed revised rules and actively engaged with the judicial discipline bill. We advocated for implicit bias training among the commissioners and raised awareness of possible unintended consequences to women judges and judges of color, who are more likely to be on the receiving end of complaints.
While significant budgetary and program cuts continued to be necessary, the Board voted to spend money on items specifically designed to advance our mission. This included continuing the charitable matching donation program launched last year and coordinated by the Legal Services Committee. It also included hosting the “Interrupting Bias: Feedback, Due Diligence, and Reference Checks” CLE. With over 660 participants, the event marked the largest attendance for any program the CWBA has ever offered. We also invested in and launched a new and improved website to better connect with members and to showcase our award-winning 1891 Blog, which in August received the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations’ Outstanding Member Program Award.
Speaking of the Blog, our Publications Committee produced an astounding 80 unique articles over the last 12 months!
CWBA members also generously donated nearly $10,000 to non-profit organizations in our community.
Notably, this was the inaugural year of the Inclusion Officer position on the Executive Committee. As part of our commitment to belonging and inclusivity, the Inclusion Officer helped ensure more equitable internal processes - from award nominations and judicial endorsements, to staff evaluations - the groundwork was set for future endeavors.
The DEI Pipeline subcommittee volunteers created “Lawyers Teaching for Change.” The program, which will launch this fall, sends attorney volunteers into the classroom to teach elementary students about the practice of law in hopes of increasing the number of diverse students that enter the profession.
And, finally, as part of our strategic planning process, the board of directors took a deep dive into the lifecycle of a nonprofit with the help of an outside consultant, and laid the foundation for the CWBA to move into the next phase of its growth. I look forward to seeing that work progress under our new leadership.
These are just some examples of the tangible, positive impact CWBA members made in our community this year. Members changed laws, helped women reach their full potential, represented the voices of others, created new and innovative programming, and formed lasting partnerships.
It is my privilege to be part of this organization and has been my honor to serve as your President this year. Don’t ever forget the force and impact of our collective bold voices.
Gina L. Glockner has over 15 years of experience defending complex civil litigation cases and representing clients in professional liability, licensing and compliance matters. She received her B.A. in both English and French from Dickinson College, and her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. Since moving to Colorado in 2012, Gina has been actively involved with the CWBA, serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee as Legal Services Co-Chair, Public Policy Co-Chair, Vice President, President-Elect and President. From 2018 to 2020, Gina also served as a director on the board of the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations, and is a graduate of the 2020 Colorado Bar Association Leadership Program (COBALT). Gina lives in Denver with her husband and three children. She enjoys traveling, good food, trying to work off that good food, and summers on the lake in Canada and Minnesota, where she grew up.