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Diversity & Inclusion

Stikeman Elliott is committed to diversity amongst its personnel and we want to ensure that all firm members are supported, valued and respected. We seek to ensure that we attract the best lawyers, students and staff members, and that our workplace provides the best possible development opportunities for our people, stays abreast of best practices for the workplace and are on the frontlines of creating, developing and implementing diversity programming for our legal professionals and staff. Our initiatives include:

  • Student & Associate Development: professional development programs designed to promote a diverse work environment, one-on-one mentoring and coaching (including mentors from multicultural communities) and events with Diversity & Inclusion Committee members where applicable.

  • Recruitment: dialogue with law school career development offices on diversity-related matters and participation in law school presentations and community events on diversity within the workplace and at the firm.

  • International Credentials: augmented review process for applications from internationally credentialed legal professionals, assistance in the accreditation and licensing processes and participation in Law Society of Upper Canada initiatives related to enhanced integration of international legal professionals in Ontario.

  • Feedback: a qualitative approach to measuring the success of our initiatives and focus on gathering feedback from firm members about their experiences with diversity and their career development in the firm. Feedback gathered at performance reviews and exit interviews, where part of the meeting is devoted to discussing diversity with findings presented to other firm committees.

  • Office-Wide Initiatives: "Hear My Name" pronunciation guide for internal on-line firm directory in Toronto, inclusiveness initiatives for Women, Aboriginal peoples, LGBT communities, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities, a Reflection Room in our Toronto office for firm members to practice religious observances and external speakers at the firm from diverse communities to address our teams.

  • Equality & Inclusion: firm-wide policies to support LGBT lawyers and staff (including equitable spousal benefits and parental leave policies) and LGBT perspectives included in our diversity and inclusion training. Internal seminars open to all firm members on LGBT-related topics such as "The Coming Out Experience", where speakers from Toronto PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays) spoke about the coming-out experience and ways to support family members and friends of the LGBT community. Other initiatives and programs include:

    • member of Pride at Work Canada

    • sponsoring and attending the annual Out on Bay Street career fair

    • celebrating Toronto Pride Week with an annual event for our firm members

    • law firm outreach and recruitment efforts with LGBT affinity groups in law schools

  • Community Outreach: involvement in outreach initiatives with schools and community groups, participation in the Pathways to Education program to give job skills to high school students, initiatives dedicated to servicing our diverse local and international communities including the United Way, Give a Day to World AIDS Campaign and Habitat for Humanity, among others.

Stikeman Elliott has partnered with the Law Firm Diversity & Inclusion Network, a group of well-known Canadian law firms dedicated to the advancement of diversity and inclusion initiatives within the legal profession. By signing the Network's Statement of Principles, the firm has confirmed its dedication to promoting diversity and encouraging a culture of inclusion within the firm and the broader legal industry.

Our efforts in ensuring a diverse work environment at Stikeman Elliott have advanced our culture and overall business objectives and success in several ways. By seeking to attract and retain individuals from all of Canada's diverse communities, we ensure that our people are the best and the brightest that Canada has to offer.

This, we believe, translates to the highest quality of legal services for our clients. It also enables us to access to a broad range of viewpoints and ideas, which in turn enhances the innovative thinking and problem-solving that our clients expect from us. Accordingly, such diversity also allows our firm to tap into an expansive range of cultural networks, businesses and potential client bases both in Canada and globally.

We have ongoing projects and business development initiatives underway in markets outside Canada, such as India, China and Africa, as well as the United States and Europe. Our lawyers, students and staff members from diverse communities and backgrounds bring a range of cultural and linguistic skills to their work on these projects and initiatives which have contributed significantly to our success.