Company: Bass, Berry & Sims
Diversity Team Name: Bass, Berry & Sims
Diversity Team Leader: Todd Rolapp
Our entire firm is our diversity team, as we are all ambassadors, allies, and active participants in our inclusion and diversity initiatives and programs. Fairness, equal opportunity, and responsibility guide us in building and sustaining a firm and culture that is inclusive and diverse. Embracing these principles strengthens who we are as a firm and enhances the services we provide to our clients and our communities. We are willing to confront challenges that are unique to our firm and those within the larger legal community that go beyond surface-level methods to create lasting change.
Our Executive Committee drives the effort to build and sustain an inclusive culture. As part of their leadership, the committee adopted a strategic plan for inclusion and diversity, which contains five core components—leadership, culture, advancement, recruiting, and communications. Through this plan, firm management set forth a commitment to real action and investment, with a clear accountability framework for promoting workplace inclusion and diversity, and identifying areas of improvement.
Our affinity groups also play a key role in building and sustaining a culture of inclusion and communication. By tapping into distinct experiences of diverse individuals and elevating their insights, these groups help foster a sense of community, identify and address unique challenges, and bolster a firm-wide environment where we come together to deal in truths and open dialogue with all firm personnel. Our affinity groups have a direct connection to firm leadership. An Executive Committee member serves as a liaison to each group to ensure members’ perspectives are heard and considered at the highest level.
In response to these efforts, Bass, Berry & Sims has received the following honors: For the third year in a row, we received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. We are only one of seven Tennessee- based companies to receive a perfect score in 2020. Taylor Wirth, an associate in our Corporate & Securities Practice Group, was named a 2020 Best LGBTQ+ Lawyer Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. We are proud to be among the 60 law firms honored by Working Mother Magazine on the 2019 “Best Law Firms for Women” list. We placed 16 out of those 60 firms for utilizing best practices in recruiting, retaining, promoting, and developing women attorneys.
We recognize inclusion and diversity are more than “right now” challenges. Real change requires a long-term commitment. That is why we have sought out partnerships with education and community organizations to help create early opportunities to develop young people of all backgrounds and encourage them to consider a career in law, and support members of our firm who are active in such programs.
Inclusion and diversity are pillars of our firm’s core values, and we are investing time, resources, and leadership to ensure our efforts are successful. We are united and committed to becoming a more inclusive firm of top-tier attorneys and professionals who represent the best in their fields, offer different perspectives, and help to strengthen the fabric of our communities and our workplace.