Company: Reed Smith LLP
Diversity Team Name: Reed Smith D+I Committee
Diversity Team Leader: John Iino
Since 2001, Reed Smith has had an enterprise- wide, formal and robust Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) program in place, led by our global chair and supported by the firm-wide D&I committee.
Over the past several years, Reed Smith’s Diversity and Inclusion program has made significant strides towards our firm-wide purpose of fostering an environment that allows all of our people to thrive, while also demonstrating leadership on issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. We have adopted new programming, enhanced and expanded existing initiatives, partnered with clients, allies, and peer firms, and placed added emphasis on ensuring that our partners and our leadership are more reflective of our firm in total. Each of these elements has resulted in the engagement of our lawyers and professional staff with our D+I program at levels never before seen. Our D&I committee, which leads our D&I programming, now consists of more than 130 firm personnel around the globe.
The deliberate and committed approach we have taken toward creating a truly diverse and inclusive environment is best reflected in our 2020 partner and counsel promotion class, which was our most diverse ever. Additionally, we achieved the highest levels of diverse (24.3%) and women lawyers (41.4%) in our history.
We understand that diversity and inclusion in law means meeting and exceeding statistical targets, as well as putting in place programs and initiatives that reinforce the firm’s dedication to recruiting, developing, retaining, and advancing diverse talent. With this in mind, we’ve launched—or expanded upon—the following to support our D+I goals (further explanation of each program is available upon request):
- Mental Health Task Force
- Client Inclusion Leader program
- Business inclusion groups reverse mentoring
- Inclusion survey
- I Count! campaign to encourage self-identification
- Diversity scorecards
- Ramp Up and Ramp Down policy to ease the transition period for leaves of absence
- Vendor Diversity program
We are also honored to have been recognized by organizations at the forefront of advocating for diverse workplaces, both within and outside the legal profession. Accolades we have received include the following:
- MCCA Sager Award finalist
- Mansfield Certification Plus
- 2019 Inclusion Blueprint Champion
- Corporate Equality Index: Perfect Score
Diversity is a strategic driver for our firm, and that remains true during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve had to adjust how we do business during the pandemic, but that’s not stopping us from pushing ahead on important initiatives at the firm, particularly on the D&I front.
That said, as a direct response to the pandemic, and its impacts on our people across our firm, we recently launched a D+I Coronavirus Task Force. The purpose of this group, which consists of D+I program leaders, inclusion group and women’s initiative chairs, and representation from human resources, recruiting, and marketing and communications, is to specifically develop and coordinate plans to address D&I related issues and to support and engage our people during the crisis. The Task Force is designed to help centralize and coordinate the various efforts currently being undertaken by individual business inclusion groups (BIGs) and to dovetail with the broader centralized firm-wide efforts, as opposed to developing independent content.
We value diversity and inclusion at Reed Smith because we believe that supporting our people to be their authentic selves and embracing a diverse workforce allows us to assemble better teams that deliver better results for our clients. While we still have much work to do, we are optimistic because our efforts are bringing about change.