Company: Ulmer & Berne LLP
Diversity Team Name: Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Diversity Team Leader: Inajo Davis Chappell & Timothy J. Downing
Diversity and inclusion are cornerstone values at Ulmer, which are continually supported by the efforts of our respected Diversity & Inclusion Committee. The Committee, led by Chair Inajo Davis Chappell and Chief Diversity Officer Timothy J. Downing, includes more than 30 members who guide the firm in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women and minority lawyers, and supporting charities, events, and sponsorships that serve as a platform for diverse people and ideas.
The Committee has played a significant role in building Ulmer’s diverse and inclusive workplace and transforming the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion into action. By working to ensure diversity and inclusion are tangible, measurable components of our daily life, the Committee has helped to create a culture at Ulmer where differences are celebrated, all perspectives are embraced, and issues are seen from every angle.
To continue building on the Committee’s progress, the firm refined its strategic plan to bolster our diversity and inclusion efforts by partnering with a consultant dedicated to promoting organizational diversity and developing innovative solutions for culture change. The Committee also encouraged the firm to abide by the Mansfield Rule to increase our already growing number of diverse attorneys and to engage in asking employees for their preferred gender pronouns.
The Committee’s efforts are also seen in the wide variety of educational programs and events the firm has long hosted, which are designed to promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion in all its forms. In the last year alone, the firm held several events, including a seminar on transgender issues in the workplace, a celebration of Robert Madison (Ohio’s first African-American licensed architect), and a discussion with Jay Berry of “The Black 14,” a group of black football players who were kicked off the University of Wyoming team in 1969 for protesting in favor of social change. Our informative diversity programming underscores the firm’s commitment to supporting and enhancing our culture of inclusion.
The Committee also believes true diversity and inclusion should extend beyond the walls of our firm. We sponsor and participate in several important external events, including the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio’s annual Walk, Rock & Run event, the Greater Cincinnati YWCA Racial Justice Breakfast, and the Human Rights Campaign annual gala in Cleveland. We also engage in community outreach through a network of diverse organizations and support the firm in working with diverse vendors and suppliers.
For these accomplishments, Ulmer was recently recognized by Profiles in Diversity Journal as a Diversity Leader, and individual Committee members have been recognized on the National Law Journal’s list of Equality Trailblazers and honored with Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Innovation Award and Litigation Counsel of America’s Diversity Law Institute Award, demonstrating the team’s commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion. We are incredibly proud of the strides the Committee has made in promoting diversity and inclusion. We know Ulmer’s biggest strength is our people, including these important Committee members, who work together to impact our firm and the world in a positive way.