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Creating New Strategies For Inclusion And Diversity

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Monday, January 7th, 2019
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Create a mentorship culture

I am a strong believer in the power of mentorship. Mentoring new talent and ensuring our firm encourages mentorship are among our biggest responsibilities as business professionals.

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At Nixon Peabody, we evaluate mentorship in performance reviews to emphasize the importance and responsibilities on both sides of the mentor-mentee relationship. I encourage my colleagues to choose mentees who may come from different backgrounds and bring different life, education and career experiences to the workplace. This helps mentors and mentees develop broader viewpoints that they may not have otherwise considered.

Be deliberate in choosing leaders

 In elevating colleagues to leadership positions, I am focused on bringing up the next generation of leaders. What I’m looking for are leaders who can provide diverse perspectives for clients, and who are also thinking about what’s ahead.

As leadership opportunities arise, I suggest carefully considering a diverse pool of people for candidates. Personally, I focus on a colleague’s future potential as much as I focus on what they’ve already accomplished. When we’re engaged in succession planning, we are able to be deliberate in ensuring that our vision of the future includes women and other underrepresented populations.

We are transparent in evaluating attorneys who are on the path to partnership, and we routinely examine the pipeline for leadership roles and partners to ensure that we’re not inadvertently putting up roadblocks that could negatively affect our diversity efforts, or limit opportunities for underrepresented people. We always take a longer-term view. Leadership roles are opportunities to serve, not entitlements.

Foster greater inclusion for new parents

Allow ample time for employees returning from extended parenting leave to readjust to their work life and workload. At Nixon Peabody, we are focused on new ways we can retain attorneys in various career tracks. We reduced the billable hours expectation of returning associates to 80 percent of their full-time requirements for up to six months after they return from an extended parenting leave. This gives parents more time to adjust to their “new normal” while balancing parenthood and career without any negative financial impact. Our hope is these policies and programs will benefit a broad range of people with different lifestyles and needs.

These are just a few examples of ways we are fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce at Nixon Peabody. Creating a culture that fully embraces differences and promotes inclusion ensures that our organization is able to handle the changes ahead, and enables us to anticipate our clients’ needs. Our ultimate success will be when we have a diverse workforce and we don’t need to measure.

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