Company: Stikeman Elliott
Innovation: Hear My Name
Date Introduced: 2008
Award Recognition: Top Ten (#5)

Stikeman Elliott LLP believes their success stems largely from a grassroots approach to diversity—they regularly talk to firm members about their experiences, ask for feedback, and engage members in identifying opportunities and initiatives that are important to them.

They have embraced many initiatives designed to create an inclusive environment, support diversity throughout their offices, and provide employees with resources to express their individuality and learn about their colleagues and community.

Stikeman Elliott has created an online internal personnel directory that includes an audio feature called “Hear My Name.” This feature allows firm members to record the correct pronunciation of their name as a means of enhancing workplace collegiality and facilitating communications and workflow.

Hear My Name recognizes that a name which may be difficult to pronounce can oftentimes act as an initial barrier to communication, and serves as a simple yet effective way to break this barrier and alleviate firm members’ concerns of inadvertently mispronouncing the names of their colleagues (or, on the other hand, of having their own names mispronounced).

The availability of this feature across all offices is even more impactful for firm members who work in regions of the world that may not be as accustomed to pronouncing names of persons from different cultures.

Says Jumi Gervacio of the tool: “When I came to Stikeman Elliott and learned about this unique ‘Hear My Name’ tool, I was so impressed by how thoughtful the firm was about making everyone feel included. It’s a convenient way for us to learn the correct way of pronouncing each other’s names while avoiding any potentially awkward communications. On a personal level, it’s the first time in a workplace setting that I haven’t been concerned about people mispronouncing my name.”