Towards a Culture of Inclusion
Creating Workplaces Where Everyone has the Opportunity to Thrive
“Towards a Culture of Inclusion” is a year-long series of programs designed to enhance members’ ability to retain diverse lawyers. Some programs will be challenging, and others fun! All programming will aim to create a culture where lawyers can be their authentic selves at work, thereby increasing engagement and deepening the connection between employer and employee and in turn, increasing the rate of retention. Learn more about the series here.
Each fall, the Coalition hosts a members meeting, usually featuring a nationally recognized speaker.
- In November 2018, the Coalition presented Ricardo Anzaldua, general counsel of Freddie Mac, who described the sponsorship program he introduced while serving in the same position at MetLife (and which he intends to introduce at Freddie Mac).
- In November 2017, the Coalition presented Dr. William D. Henderson, Indiana University Maurer School of Law Professor, speaking on empirical research supporting practical solutions to building more inclusive law firms.
At our spring members meeting, the focus is more local. At these meetings, our members have heard from a number of leaders in the effort to ensure a “Pittsburgh For All,” including:
- Melanie Harrington, the President and CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh, whose mission is to build a thriving and inclusive Pittsburgh region by attracting, retaining and elevating a diversity of talent.
- Evan Frazier, the founding director of The Advanced Leadership Initiative, launched to ensure that African-Americans gain leadership roles on the executive teams of the region’s corporations and non-profit organizations.
- Carmen A. Alexander, Director of Equity and Social Justice at The Heinz Endowments.
- Brian Burley, founder of Young Black Pittsburgh and Director of Economic Inclusion at the Allegheny Conference.
Additional programming to nurture equity, diversity and inclusion.
Other programs are spear-headed by the Coalition’s committees, including:
- A Model Career Advocate Program being piloted in 2019 for senior associates and young partners, the point at which research indicates many diverse lawyers leave their employers and sometimes, even the profession.
- A series of small informal dinners bringing together general counsel and other lawyers employed by our law department members with diverse lawyers employed by our law firm members for the simple purpose of getting to know each other in a relaxed setting.
- A program presented by Dr. Arin Reeves of Nextions Consulting on how to employ behavioral interviewing techniques to avoid unconscious biases and perceptions creeping into the hiring process.
Finally, the Coalition is in the midst of facilitating two important discussions: the first, between the Coalition and area law schools to explore how the Coalition can help the law schools attract and provide increased opportunities for more diverse students and how the law schools can help the Coalition persuade their students to build their careers in Pittsburgh; and the second, among the leaders of our corporate law department members on how they can most effectively collaborate and partner with law firms on their diversity and inclusion efforts.