Andie’s and Al’s perspectives, although closely aligned, are not identical. As a result, their book and presentations offer unique, balanced advice about what women can do to prevent gender stereotypes and biases from obstructing their ability to advance as fast and as far as they wish in their careers.
Andie and Al’s advice reflects their belief that by learning to use distinctive, practical, effective communication techniques, women can overcome gender bias and be noticed as the capable, competent, ambitious professionals they are. Andie and Al also make senior male business leaders aware of the difficulties women face in their careers and encourage these leaders to adopt policies and practices to reduce these difficulties and make women’s career opportunities more comparable to men’s.
Andie is a partner in the international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, which was just listed as one of the “10 Best BigLaw Firms for Female Attorneys.” Andie is head of the firm’s Financial Products, Trading and Derivatives Group, and is the founding chair of the firm’s Gender Diversity Committee and currently serves as its co-chair. She has served on both her firm’s Management Committee and Compensation Committee. In these roles, she became deeply concerned about the disparities in the pace and extent of women’s and men’s career achievements.
Andie’s extensive research, astute observations, and pragmatic voice have made her a nationally recognized advocate for women’s advancement and an authority on gender communication.
Despite her successful and demanding legal career, Andie has helped thousands of women navigate both the obvious and subtle gender biases they encounter in all career settings. Because mentorship opportunities for young executive and professional women are often limited, she co-founded the Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Alliance (WLMA) to recruit senior women to mentor and support younger women on their way up. She has developed a series of leadership training programs and is a frequent speaker on the issue of gender discrimination and bias.
Among her many recognitions, Andie was named one of the 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal for her “demonstrated power to change the legal landscape, shape public affairs, launch industries, and do big things.” In 2015, she received the Inspiration Award from the Coalition of Women in Law Initiatives for her continued support of women’s initiatives, mentoring, and coaching. She also received the POW Award from Womenetics as a purposeful woman. She was also honored as the 2014 Gender Diversity Private Practice Lawyer of the Year by ChambersUSA for her outstanding contributions to furthering the advancement of women in law. Her full list of accreditations and accolades can be found here.
Al was a founding partner of the Chicago law firm of Ungaretti & Harris where Andie started her legal career and which in 2015 merged into the national law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP. At Ungaretti & Harris, Al served for many years as managing partner and then as a member of its Executive and Compensation Committees. In these roles, he had extensive experience watching and evaluating women as they move up the career ladder. Over the course of his career, Al has grown increasingly concerned about the barriers and biases women face in traditionally male career environments. Because of this concern, Al has mentored and advised women in many career fields. His focus is always on the communication skills they need to advance in their chosen fields, despite the prevalence of negative gender stereotypes. Al co-authored with Andie the 2014 article, “Taking Control: Women, Gender Stereotypes, and Impression Management.” Al and Andie speak together and separately on these important topics.
Andrea S. Kramer (Andie) and Alton B. Harris (Al) are married and former law partners.
For more than 30 years they have been sounding boards for each other’s ideas, collaborating on more than 30 articles, and working together to promote gender equality in the workplace.
They are accomplished experts in their respective fields of law and both are adjunct professors at Northwestern University School of Law.
Andie and Al live in Chicago. They have a daughter in medical school, three rescue dogs, and four rescue cats.