Company: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Diversity Team Name: Diversity Management Department (DMD)
Diversity Team Leader(s): Kyra E. Laursen
What Makes this Diversity Team Stand Out
Our Diversity Management Department (DMD) is a three-member team that works directly with senior leaders—including the members of our Management Committee, Diversity Committee, and Women’s Initiative Committee—and other internal departments to ensure that the firm takes a holistic approach in executing our DEI strategy.
DMD implements extensive programming to advance our BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women lawyers. S&C hosts or sponsors more than 150 programs each year that address professional development and mentoring, and also provide social and networking opportunities for our people. During the global pandemic, recognizing that connectivity was more important than ever, DMD increased the number of DEI programs by more than 30 percent. DMD’s ability to remain laser focused on creating meaningful—and plentiful—opportunities for connection and collaboration under these extraordinary circumstances demonstrates why our team should be recognized.
Our bespoke Allyship Learning Curriculum is DMD’s most notable 2020 achievement. DMD created this multifaceted curriculum as part of S&C’s broader effort to ensure that our antiracism work is ongoing and relevant to current conversations concerning civil rights and social justice issues. The interactive curriculum includes educational resources, book raffles, CLE-accredited trainings, panel discussions, and consultant-led workshops for our personnel across our 13 offices worldwide.
DMD spends weeks designing each module by conducting intensive research incorporating DEI best practices and evidentiary support. DMD’s goal is to develop high-impact work product that combines powerful and honest accounts with hard, empirical data. To gauge whether we are hitting the mark, we collect written feedback following each program. One attendee made clear in response to our most recent session, which provided concrete ways in which people can disrupt microaggressions in the workplace, that DMD’s hard work and dedication has paid off: “I felt proud to be part of a community where these conversations are taking place with openness, kindness, and compassion.”
Additionally, DMD crafts and distributes substantial resource guides addressing the allyship continuum and, for our working parents, provides child-friendly resources for use at home. By ensuring that our people have a safe space to learn and grow together, DMD affirms our leaders’ commitment to making DEI a top priority at S&C.
The words of our chair truly speak for all of us: “DMD’s contributions to the S&C community have been inspiring as we have engaged in deep reflection on the importance of accountability and taken actions aimed at effecting positive societal change.”
The DMD team brings courage, curiosity, and a commitment to excellence to their work every day, and we are hopeful you will recognize their incredible contributions.