Two law firms named among Canada’s best diversity employers

February 23, 2012 A list of the best diversity employers in Canada has recognised two law firms – Stikeman Elliott and Fraser Milner Casgrain.

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2012 is an initiative of MediaCorp Canada, which recognizes 45 employers with exemplary diversity initiatives in five employee groups: women, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal Peoples, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered/transsexual people.

Stikeman Elliott’s diversity program includes:
* Client and business development programs designed for women;
* Participation in industry organizations and client activities that promote connections through diversity initiatives;
* Training for new hires, mentors, and firm members involved in recruitment and people development;
* A coaching program for women returning from maternity leave on a range of topics related to career development and work-life balance;
* Firm-wide policies to support lesbian and gay lawyers and staff, including equitable spousal benefits and parental leave policies; and
* Participation in the Out on Bay Street initiative.

FMC’s diversity program includes:
* Establishment a national diversity and inclusion committee in 2006. Each office also has a designated diversity lead;
* Working with the Black Business and Professional Association, the firm manages a national scholarship program for students who are interested in pursuing legal studies;
* Subsidizing the cost of employees’ membership in and attendance at events hosted by community organizations such as the Korean Lawyers Association and the South Asian Bar Association;
* Providing pro bono legal services to Pride at Work Canada, a non-profit corporation that provides support to lesbian and gay professionals in the Canadian workplace, and participates in Out On Bay Street. It also attends career fairs directed at lesbian and gay students at the University of Ottawa, Ryerson University, and the University of Toronto;
* Requiring all employees and partners to complete diversity and inclusiveness training and is planning e-learning diversity courses for the coming year;
* Operating the Vault Women's initiative to provide female employees a forum for interaction; and
* Participation in the Law Society of Alberta’s aboriginal summer student program. If the term is completed satisfactorily, an offer of full-time employment usually follows.

Read more at www.canadianlawyermag.com.

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