McCarthy Tétrault one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers

Toronto, February 19, 2013 — McCarthy Tétrault is very pleased to announce that it has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers by Canada’s Top 100 Employers. This honour underscores the firm’s efforts in developing diversity focused programs, policies and initiatives which are recognized as among the very best of Canadian employers.

This announcement comes on the heels of the appointment of McCarthy Tétrault’s first Chief Diversity Officer — a Canadian industry first.

"Diversity has long been a core value of our firm and this award affirms the great strides we have taken toward diversity and inclusiveness at the firm," said Marc-André Blanchard, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of McCarthy Tétrault. "Diversity at McCarthy Tétrault is not just ‘the right thing to do’. It’s a business imperative."

Canada’s Best Diversity Employer recognizes Canadian employers that implement exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. The selection process looks specifically for employers with strong initiatives supporting women, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual (LGBT) peoples.

In 2012, McCarthy Tétrault became the first Canadian law firm to sign the Catalyst Accord which aspires to increase the percentage of women on boards to 25 per cent by 2017. Currently, women comprise 25 per cent of its Senior Leadership Team and 27 per cent of its Board.

Diversity has been at the forefront of our firm since 1921, when McCarthy Tétrault hired a woman lawyer, Edith Sheppard. At the time, 99 per cent of law school graduates were men, and women had only gained the right to vote in general elections three years earlier. This pioneering spirit has carried through the firm’s history in the form of many "firsts" in the Canadian legal industry including the creation in 2004 of the Women’s Initiative Network, which has evolved into the current National Diversity Committee.

"I am thrilled we are listed among the top 100 workplaces in terms of our diversity focused efforts," says Lisa Vogt, Chief Diversity Officer of McCarthy Tétrault. "This award is a recognition of the spirit and commitment that resides across all of our teams in every office. There is still work to be done, but we are committed to continuously improving upon these positive results."

McCarthy Tétrault’s long-standing commitment to diversity has fostered a professional environment that attracts individuals from a range of cultures, interests and opinions. The firm’s National Diversity Committee works to entrench diversity into the core of McCarthy Tétrault’s culture, attitudes and business practices.

McCarthy Tétrault is proud to provide diversity programs and initiatives including:

  • The Judy Project — McCarthy Tétrault is a founding sponsor of The Judy Project, a University of Toronto/Rotman program that gathers together 30 Canadian executive women each year to develop skills for advancement within strategic leadership positions in Canadian enterprises.
  • The Business Leadership for Women Lawyers Program — Eight young women lawyers from the firm’s Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal offices attend an annual Rotman School of Management/University of Toronto program for women in law focusing on the power of influence, presentation skills and how to succeed in the legal environment. McCarthy Tétrault is a lead sponsor of this new program and participated in developing the curriculum.
  • Training and Education — McCarthy Tétrault is at the forefront of the legal industry in having launched a formal, mandatory diversity training program in 2011 for all lawyers and staff. The training builds awareness and provides guidance on understanding, accepting, valuing and celebrating differences; combating discrimination; and building inclusion into work-related practices.
  • Pride at Work — McCarthy Tétrault launched its national Pride Network in 2011, believed to be the first lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) network at a national law firm in Canada. In addition, McCarthy Tétrault was among the first Canadian law firms to join a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the climate of inclusiveness for LGBT employees in the workplace.
  • Inclusiveness — McCarthy Tétrault has implemented numerous initiatives to promote the inclusiveness of all types of cultural, religious and visible minorities. For example, the firm created their East Asian Affinity Group in 2011 as a forum for matters of common interest to Chinese, Malaysian, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and other East Asian lawyers and staff. They also participate in efforts of the Diversity Roundtable, Ascend Canada and the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, among many other activities in support of minorities in the legal profession.

About McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault provides a broad range of legal services, advising on large and complex assignments for Canadian and international interests. The firm has substantial presence in Canada’s major commercial centres and in London, UK.

Built on an integrated approach in the practice of law and delivery of innovative client services, the firm brings its legal talent, industry insight and practice experience to help clients achieve the results that are important to them.