Bloomberg BNA has highlighted Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in a case study of the firm’s proactive and innovative initiatives across 12 offices in the United States and London. Shook’s Director of Strategic Diversity Initiatives Kori Carew told Bloomberg BNA that the firm’s emphasis on inclusion is “part of our brand.”
‘‘The inclusion part [is] the critical component,’’ she said. ‘‘Unless people feel this is a place they can connect, belong, and feel valued, they won’t stay.’’
In addition to focusing on the firm’s diversity writing program, traditional mentoring efforts, and bias and cultural competency training, the article singles out the Shook Champions program that pairs diverse attorneys with firm leaders to give those attorneys an opportunity to gain experience and knowledge related to business development, client exposure and firm leadership. The program invites senior associates and influential partners to collaborate on projects.
“We have to intentionally cultivate and develop people,” Carew noted in reference to the case study. “[W]omen and minorities end up being over-mentored and under-sponsored because leaders often unconsciously invest in people who remind them of themselves. We are programmed to connect across same-ness. People don’t recognize that they are doing this, but it creates exclusion. Our Champions program interrupts this habit and asks leaders to sponsor across differences.”