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Eversheds Sutherland Earns a Perfect Score for Workplace Equality

Eversheds Sutherland is proud to announce that we have again received a perfect score of 100 on the 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s premier benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. This is the 12th consecutive year Eversheds Sutherland has received a perfect score.

“We are proud to have our commitment to equality validated again this year by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation,” said Mark D. Wasserman, Co-CEO of Eversheds Sutherland. “Creating and maintaining a culture of inclusivity and equality is an ongoing priority for us and a cornerstone of our firm values.”

“From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year. Yet, many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritise and champion LGBTQ equality,” said Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President. “This year has shown us that tools like the CEI are crucial in the work to increase equity and inclusion in the workplace, but also that companies must breathe life into these policies and practices in real and tangible ways. Thank you to the companies that understand protecting their LGBTQ employees and consumers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do—but the best business decision.”

“Our firm values and policies demonstrate our commitment to equality to our attorneys, staff, clients and the legal industry, while building a workplace we can be all proud of,” said Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Tax Partner Vanessa A. Scott. “It is great to see this effort recognised once again.”

The 2021 CEI evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBTQ community. Eversheds Sutherland’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

For more information on the 2021 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit hrc.org.

About the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organisation working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Kirkland Sponsors GLAAD Spirit Day

Kirkland is proud to sponsor GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day for the eighth year in a row. GLAAD is the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organisation. Spirit Day, which takes place this year on October 15, 2020, is the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that aims to accelerate the acceptance of LGBTQ youth. Spirit Day inspires millions of people around the world to wear purple or “go purple” online in a unified stance against bullying and to show their support for LGBTQ youth.

Kirkland has been a proud official international sponsor of Spirit Day since 2013. Each year, the Firm demonstrates its support on Spirit Day by encouraging Kirkland employees worldwide to wear purple, celebrate diversity and inclusion, and continue important conversations within the Firm, the legal profession and the community. Kirkland also contributes to GLAAD’s Spirit Day Fund, which supports GLAAD’s year-round efforts to combat bullying, protect LGBTQ youth and garner participation in Sprit Day each October.

“GLAAD Spirit Day promotes some of the most important values in our society today — equality, inclusion and opportunity for all,” said Diversity & Inclusion Committee co-chair Ranesh Ramanathan. “Our attorneys and staff are proud to once again demonstrate our support for LGBTQ youth through participation in this important initiative.”

Eversheds Sutherland Receives Mansfield 3.0 Plus Certification

Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that it has once again received Mansfield Certification after completing the Mansfield Rule 3.0 twelve-month certification program and has officially signed on to the Mansfield Rule 4.0 program.

The certification by Diversity Lab is given to law firms that have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, attorneys of colour, LGBTQ+ and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. Firms are audited bi-annually and certified annually as they follow, comply, and achieve the Rules’ requirements.

In addition, Eversheds Sutherland has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status, which is given to firms that have successfully reached at least 30 percent diverse attorney representation in a notable number of their current leadership roles and committees. The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to boost the representation of diverse attorneys in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities.

To achieve certification, Eversheds Sutherland participated in monthly group knowledge sharing calls with Diversity Lab as well as 1:1 meetings and twelve-month data collection. Through its Women’s Leadership Initiative, Eversheds Sutherland has formally committed to achieving 30 percent female partnership and 30 percent equity female partnership by 2021.

Eversheds Sutherland is also a founding firm of the Move the Needle Fund, the first collaborative effort designed and funded with $5M to test innovative initiatives to create a more diverse and inclusive legal profession.

Pinsent Masons Named Stonewall’s Scotland Diversity Champion

Pinsent Masons has been crowned Scottish Diversity Champion for a second year by equality campaign charity Stonewall.

The first law firm to be included in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index back in 2008, Pinsent Masons has consistently ranked in the Top 100 British employers. This year marks the fifth consecutive year the firm has been placed in the British top five and the second successive year as Top Employer Private Sector in the Stonewall Scotland Workplace Awards.

With more than 500 staff based at offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Pinsent Masons has been consistent in supporting LGBT issues in the workplace and out with the business.

Construction sector specialist and senior associate, Craig Macphee, collected the award on behalf of colleagues at a celebration dinner at the Virgin Money Banking Hall in Glasgow.

Craig Macphee said: “The willingness of the firm to embrace diversity and inclusion has benefits across the firm. It encourages a more inclusive atmosphere and even for those staff not directly affected by diversity issues, they will feel a parallel benefit if other colleagues are able to come to work and be genuine or authentic.”

“More often now, we are being asked by clients, and even third parties who supply services to Pinsent Masons, to share information on the approach we are taking on diversity issues, and we are happy to be able to positively contribute to the wider equality agenda.”

One initiative which has made a significant contribution to promoting diversity within Pinsent Masons has been the formation of an LGBT Allies network. Staff can privately discuss with an Ally, who are visible and known throughout the firm, matters they may feel they are unable or unwilling to raise with managers.

Craig added: “The Allies network has gained a lot of traction with staff and they are available for anyone, working at any level, who would benefit from have a confidential sounding board or is looking to seek advice on a range of issues. There is also a strong partnership across the firm with other forums such as our Disability and Wellbeing Network and Female Futures Network, because often those groups share common issues and experiences.”

Pinsent Masons’ Chair of Scotland and Northern Ireland, Katharine Hardie, said: “Diversity and inclusion is a central tenet of our business and we are delighted that Stonewall has again recognised the work being done across the firm, and particularly in Scotland, on these vitally important issues.

“Law graduates are increasingly selective when it comes to deciding which firms they will work for and resting on our laurels and past reputation will not cut it when it comes to attracting the best legal talent. Being highly regarded by the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index provides potential future employees with a valuable benchmark and an assurance that diversity and inclusion is treated seriously at Pinsent Masons.”

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland, said: “Pinsent Masons are playing a huge role in improving the lives of LGBT people in Scotland, and should be very proud of their work.

“We still don’t live in a world where everyone is able to be themselves in the workplace, as we know more than a third of LGBT staff (36 per cent) hide who they are at work. By taking steps to make their workplaces supportive and welcoming of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, these organisations are bringing us closer to a world where everyone is accepted without exception.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.pinsentmasons.com/

Clifford Chance listed 19th in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers

International law firm Clifford Chance has been ranked 19th in this year’s Stonewall Top 100 Employers List for 2020 – the sixth highest law firm in the list.

Now in its 16th year, the list celebrates the pioneering efforts and commitments of leading organisations to LGBT workplace inclusion. This year’s list, which was the largest ever with 503 employers entering, was developed using submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to create inclusive workplaces.

Toby Horner, Co-Chair of Clifford Chance’s LGBT+ & Allies Network ARCUS, said: “This result reflects our inclusion efforts at every stage from entry level recruitment through to reverse mentoring members of our Executive Leadership Group. Collaboration is core to our work and we have focused more than ever on our LBT strategy – an area which can often be overlooked. Whilst we still have steps to take to represent the full spectrum of LGBT diversity within the firm, we are committed to keeping our foot on the pedal and removing barriers wherever possible.”

Michael Bates, Clifford Chance UK Managing partner, comments: ”We are delighted that our commitment to maintaining an inclusive environment for our people has been recognised in this year’s Stonewall index. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. We know that there is more work and campaigning to be done to provide a workplace and society where people can be their full authentic selves, without fear of exclusion or discrimination.”

Clifford Chance’s inclusion in the index complements the firm’s extensive portfolio of global LGBT initiatives including: the ARCUS reverse mentoring scheme with the firm’s senior management team; the annual Pride Art exhibition that celebrates LGBT pride and fosters diversity and inclusion; and the commissioning of the largest piece of research on LGBT wellbeing with Trendence, Deutsche Bank, the University of York and National Student Pride.

Further information on Clifford Chance’s commitment to LGBT+ rights and equality can be found in its annual Responsible Business Report, which the firm publishes in accordance with the United Nations Global Compact.

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/

Arent Fox announces 2020 Diversity Scholarship recipients

Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Arent Fox Diversity Scholarship. Each second-year law student will receive a $20,000 award and participate in the firm’s 2020 Summer Program.

Since 2006, the firm has annually awarded diversity scholarships to promising law students. The Diversity Scholarship is part of the firm’s broader efforts to recruit, retain, and promote women, lawyers of color, and LGBTQ lawyers, and to ensure that adequate firm resources are dedicated to their training, mentoring, and business development.

The following students demonstrated a commitment to learning and practicing law at the highest level:

  • Rita Liu (Washington University School of Law) – BOS Office
  • Destiny Planter (University of North Carolina School of Law) – DC Office
  • Fernanda Jara (Loyola Law School, Los Angeles) – LA Office
  • Tisha Martin (University of North Carolina School of Law) – NY Office
  • Derek Ha (University of California, Berkeley, School of Law) – SF Office

“On behalf of the Firm, I want to congratulate Rita, Destiny, Fernanda, Tisha, and Derek on their strong applications and many accomplishments so far,” said Chief Diversity Officer Chris Norton. “With the addition of the Boston office, this will be our first year with five Diversity Scholars, and we look forward to working with them next summer.”

The scholarship will be paid in two installments: $10,000 during the student’s second-year summer and another $10,000 paid when the student returns to Arent Fox as an associate after graduation.