Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith Diversity Summit 2017

Challenge

We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion to our people as well as the clients we serve.

Actions

On May 31 – June 1, 2017, we organized and hosted a day and a half Diversity Summit in Philadelphia, PA on diversity, equality and inclusion.  Almost 200 clients, diversity and inclusion advocates, and Reed Smith attorneys learned from leaders driving diversity in the legal profession, participated in workshops with Reed Smith attorneys and industry experts, and shared their experiences as diverse professionals in a competitive field. Highlights of the Summit included:

  • Driving Progress: Being Successful as a Leader Driving Diversity in Today’s Legal Profession, a panel featuring the Chief Judge, USDC, Eastern District of Pa.; Managing Counsel, U.S. Downstream at BP America Inc. and the Chief Diversity Officer, Prudential Financial.
  • Keynote speaker Elena Bombis, ‎Manager, Legal & Integrity, Social Sustainability - ‎United Nations Global Compact who spoke on the Proposed UN Global Compact Guide for Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Pitch and Proposal Masterclass, focusing on to effectively incorporate diversity into pitches and business development
  • Diversity & Inclusion workshops sponsored by Reed Smith affinity groups: WINRS (Womens Initiative Network at Reed Smith); RSVets (veterans); LEADRS (Looking for Excellence and Advancement of Disabled Attorneys at Reed Smith); Hispanic/Latino; PRISM (LGBT); Asian-American; and STAARS (African-American).

Outcomes

Many, many positive comments from all attendees.  As an example, here is a comment from a white, male, senior partner of the firm:

“This may seem odd coming from me given that I do not fit into any of the categories for which we have affinity groups, but in my 8 ½ years as a partner at this firm, I do not think I have ever been prouder of what this firm is and what it represents that I am today.  I have to confess that while I have been supportive of all of these ideas and efforts as they have been developing, seeing all of these efforts and projects come to fruition today in a single event like is being pulled off here really struck me about how important this is as a societal issue and how important it is that we commit to be leaders in this regard.  Bravo for the leadership on this issue, and thank you for opening my eyes much more to what we can and should do to make our firm and our profession far better than it is.”

Contact

John Iino: [email protected]

The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge is testament to the responsibility that business leaders have in advancing opportunity, equality and fairness.  It’s through shared values and engagement that we will realize the true potential of our people, organizations, and communities to build a better and more equitable world.

Sandy Thomas

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