Diversity Makes Us Stronger



Diversity is essential to our success

At McCarthy Tétrault, diversity is about opportunities. It’s about creating and maintaining a respectful, vibrant work environment that attracts the most talented, dedicated and promising people from all our communities to ensure the highest level of professional excellence and client service. And giving them every opportunity to succeed.

Diversity connects us more closely to all our clients, to a richer array of ideas and insight, and inspires us to greater heights. It is a value that binds all of our people and inspires us all to continuously improve who we are as an organization.

We believe a law firm provides a diverse workplace where it:

  • Creates and sustains a culture that builds upon the differences of its staff, students and lawyers to the advantage of both the individual and the firm;
  • Attracts, retains and advances qualified and committed staff, students and lawyers irrespective of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, disability or any other prohibited ground of discrimination under human rights legislation;
  • Complies with all applicable legal obligations relating to equity and diversity under the Codes of Professional Conduct and human rights legislation, including all applicable duties to accommodate; and
  • Actively supports and is respectful in its efforts to accommodate an appropriate and reasonable balancing of the work and other commitments and priorities of all staff, students and lawyers.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP is one of the founding employers of the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion. Our National Diversity Committee, created specifically to lead and support one of our highest strategic priorities, has been very active across the firm in recommending initiatives to promote diversity, and supplying oversight on our firm-wide diversity programs. McCarthy Tétrault’s commitment to diversity spans all diversity topics – from gender diversity to sexual orientation, from ethnicity to religious beliefs, from physical challenges to all social and economic groups – and goes beyond our firm's doors.

Women at McCarthy Tétrault

Our commitment to gender diversity is reflected in our many industry-leading initiatives focused on promoting equal access to opportunities for our women lawyers.

  • In 2012, McCarthy Tétrault was the first law firm in Canada to sign the Catalyst Accord calling on Canadian corporations to increase the overall FP500 board seats held by women to 25% by 2017. Currently, 27% of McCarthy Tétrault’s board is female.
  • We hold in-house Leadership Seminars designed for women senior associates and junior partners, held by our firm’s practice group leaders, board members and senior partners.
  • McCarthy Tétrault is a lead sponsor of Rotman School of Business’ Business Leadership for Woman Lawyers and a founding sponsor of the Rotman School of Management-University of Toronto Judy Project, one of Canada’s premier executive forums in support of women’s leadership advancement.
  • Our innovative Parental Support Program, profiled by Catalyst Canada as a best practice, assists new parents in managing the demands of juggling a career with home life and includes a maternity leave buddy program, emergency daycare and more.
  • McCarthy Tétrault COO Tracie Crook is the Canadian Chair of the Young Presidents’ Organization Women’s International Network, partnering with LeanIn.org to launch Lean In Circles, an extension of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead – designed to encourage women to realize their career goals.

Cultural Diversity

Canada is the most culturally diverse country in the western world, and McCarthy Tétrault welcomes and supports our own diverse population.

  • We regularly participate in the University of Toronto Faculty of Law's Internationally Trained Lawyers Program (ITLP). ITLP participants are foreign-trained lawyers who are seeking accreditation of their international credentials with a view to entering the Canadian legal employment market
  • Our East Asian Affinity Group is a common interest forum for Chinese, Malaysian, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese and other East Asian lawyers and staff. McCarthy Tétrault is also a founding member of Ascend Canada, a non-profit professional organization aiming to increase the number of Pan-Asian leaders in corporate Canada.
  • Our Mentoring Program host events with the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) for best practice sharing and Speed Mentoring for Asian Canadian law students and lawyers. Two of our partners serve on FACL’s Board and we support the Federation with pro bono work.
  • We are a sponsor and Board member of the South Asian Bar Association.

Pride at McCarthy

World Pride Toronto

We’re proud of our Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community, and our Pride Network, one of the first in a national Canadian law firm, is designed to increase awareness of issues, and promote professional development and mentoring of LGBT lawyers and staff. Here are some of our initiatives across the country:

  • We are a corporate partner of Pride at Work Canada, dedicated to improving inclusiveness for LGBT employees in the workplace.
  • We are a dedicated sponsor of OutLaws at the Universities of British Columbia and Victoria, which promotes an LGBT-friendly environment for learning and networking.
  • We support GRIS Montréal in their mission to demystify homosexuality and promote awareness and integration into every aspect of society.
  • We support Out on Bay Street in helping Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally (LGBTQA) graduate and undergraduate students transition from school to career, and in building a national network within the LGBTQA community.
  • We provide pro bono services for COCQ-SIDA – a coalition of 35 Québec community organizations involved in the fight against AIDS – and for the Human Dignity Trust, which is based in London and challenges criminal laws throughout the world that criminalize homosexuality

What some of our people have to say about diversity

We live in a multi-dimensional world with multi-dimensional challenges and problems. Traditional power bases are being aggressively challenged. Anyone trying to operate without diverse perspectives is by definition at a disadvantage! The strongest teams are those who are best able to capture the competitive advantage created by diversity.
David McAusland, Partner — Montréal

Diversity is a key priority. We are building on our strong mentoring program to go a step further, meaning going beyond guidance to actions, and from identifying challenges to implementing solutions. With awareness and engaged partners, we will create real opportunities for the people we sponsor and mentor.
Chantal Tremblay, Partner and a member of the National Diversity Committee — Montréal

We are committed to diversity as an integral part of our business. We are a proud supporter of the Legal Leaders for Diversity Trust Fund, which provides equal access to legal education to advance diversity in law faculties by offering annual scholarships to support disabled youth who are studying law in Canada. McCarthy Tétrault believes that by removing barriers to legal education, our industry and Canadian business in general can only benefit.
Clemens Mayr, Partner and one of the initial board trustees of the Legal Leaders for Diversity Trust Fund – Montréal

Fostering Gender Diversity: Read more about our rich history as a proponent of women in the legal profession.

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