Embracing diversity and inclusion

At Stikeman Elliott, embracing diversity is integral to our culture and history. From the beginning, we recognized that advancing diversity was – and remains – a business imperative; both in our workforce and among the clients we serve in Canada and around the world. These twin objectives are at the root of all our initiatives and are reflected in the mandate for our firm-wide Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Recruiting and advancing the best talent from all of Canada’s diverse communities

We believe that in order to attract the best talent and to develop a truly diverse and inclusive organization at all levels - including our leadership - we need  to invest heavily over the long term at all stages along our “leadership pipeline”:

  • Community outreach – Our lawyers and students are involved in outreach initiatives with many communities and law student groups in an effort to demystify business law as a career goal for a diverse range of students.
  • Recruitment – To ensure best practices in our hiring processes and remove unconscious bias, we regularly review our recruitment practices, conduct interviewer training and gather feedback from candidates through a third party.
  • Engagement and Promotion – A suite of mentoring, learning and promotion initiatives tailored to support our diverse workforce is in constant development and implementation. This is an ongoing effort to ensure that colleagues from all communities are supported in their career development and have access to the tools and opportunities necessary to facilitate their success.
  • Inclusiveness – We consistently strive to make our working environment as inclusive as possible through a number of small but meaningful steps in each local office.  Some examples include providing lawyers with a MultiFaith and Statutory Observance calendar in Outlook, our audible “Hear my Name” workforce directory, our Reflection Room in Toronto to enable religious observances during the working day, and access to universal washrooms.

Expanding our reach with diverse client communities, both locally and globally

Stikeman Elliott’s continuing success and growth as a law firm is also driven by our ability to work seamlessly with diverse clients – wherever in the world those clients and their work may be.  Our firm has been built on international opportunity and we have a long tradition of helping clients across the border and around the globe. Our diversity and women’s initiatives have an increasing role to play in advancing our client service and our reach. Some initiatives where we’ve partnered with clients are:

  • Thomson Reuters’ Women’s Transformative Leadership Forum (Co-Chairs with BMO)
  • Ascend Pan-Asian Leaders Canada Membership
  • Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)
  • Pride at Work Canada
  • Chief Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer Forum
  • Unconscious Bias Training and Client Roundtables
  • CivicAction Mental Health in the Workplace Champion’s Council
  • Syrian Refugee internship program
  • Law Firm Diversity & Inclusions Network (partnering with Legal Leaders for Diversity & Inclusion)