For the third consecutive year, Baker Donelson has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status. To accomplish this achievement, the Firm collaborated with Diversity Lab over a 12-month certification period with built-in measurement, transparency, and accountability mechanisms.
Mansfield aims to increase and sustain diversity in leadership within law firms by broadening the pool of women lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, and underrepresented racial and/or ethnic lawyers who are considered for senior lateral attorney job openings, firm governance opportunities, equity partner promotions, and firm leadership positions. Firms must also create and publish job descriptions and appointment/election policies for leadership roles.
"The Mansfield Rule is essential to ensuring that law firms are held accountable for achieving significant and sustainable progress toward a truly diverse legal profession. Baker Donelson is grateful to be a part of this effort and is proud to once again be recognized as a Mansfield Plus Certified firm," said Baker Donelson's Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Mark A. Baugh.
Diversity Lab is an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in the law. They create experimental ideas through Hackathons and pilot these in collaboration with more than 300 top law firms and legal departments across the country. Diversity Lab leverages data, behavioral science, design thinking, and technology to further develop and test the ideas, measure the results, and share the lessons learned.
"It takes a lot of work for firms to make even incremental changes to longstanding systems, and it is an absolute honor for the Diversity Lab team to see what these firms have achieved over the course of the year-long certification cycle," said Kavita Ramakrishnan, Diversity Lab's Mansfield Rule and Knowledge Sharing senior director. "The firms enthusiastically engaged with Mansfield's rigorous challenges while sharing learnings with each other to ensure a collective 'win.' Every Certified and Certified Plus firm should take great pride in this hard-earned accomplishment."
Baker Donelson strives to create an inclusive environment for all employees, welcoming people of all races, genders, ages, languages, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, disabilities, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs to assist clients in achieving their legal goals. As a Mansfield Rule Certified Plus firm for the third consecutive year, Baker Donelson affirmatively considers at least 30 percent women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys, and attorneys with disabilities in the candidate pools for recruitment, governance roles, equity partner promotions, and inclusion in formal pitch presentations to clients.
In addition to ongoing D&I efforts, during 2020 Baker Donelson implemented a D&I Compact, a multi-year plan to drastically increase the number of diverse attorneys within its ranks, as well as committing to provide additional support and remove barriers to advancement. Baker Donelson is a member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA), a coalition of more than 200 of the nation's leading law firms focused on utilizing private bar resources to assist legal services organizations in furtherance of their missions to dismantle barriers to opportunity in communities of color, and is a member of Out Leadership, the oldest and largest global coalition of companies working to improve LGBTQ+ equality.
SCBIZtv is part of the SC Biz News family, serving 100,000 high-level business execs throughout South Carolina. Click for more from SCBIZtv.