Calfee is dedicated to supporting an inclusive culture in age, gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical abilities, marital and civil union status, military and veteran standing, socioeconomic background, and familial status. This inclusive work environment makes Calfee a great place to work and enhances our ability to provide exceptional client service.
Our commitment to valuing and supporting diversity as a critical cultural element in attracting and retaining talent and supporting business and industry growth expands beyond our firm. Calfee is a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), an organization of more than 300 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners working to build a more open and diverse legal profession. Additionally, Calfee is a founding member of Cleveland's Gender Equity in the Legal Industry (GELI) Forum, which is a collaboration of Cleveland law firms committed to identifying and addressing gender inequities at private law firms. As of 2018, we are proud to have joined Ohio Business Competes, a non-partisan coalition of businesses committed to achieving non-discrimination policies at the state level.
Calfee's Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Overview
Calfee's Diversity & Inclusion Committee developed a strategic plan and overview to help guide its efforts and communicate its work with Calfee attorneys, staff members, clients and friends of the firm.
In mid-2020 the Committee held small group sessions for all Calfee employees discussing race, diversity and equality in the workplace. During these sessions, employees were asked to provide candid feedback on the current status of diversity at Calfee, ideas and thoughts for improvement, and ways to increase transparency in diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Following the small group sessions, the Committee reviewed all of the feedback received and then created the strategic overview, which provides information on the group's current focus and action items, action items completed within the last year, and a listing of Calfee's ongoing sponsorships and programs.
Read the full plan and overview here.
Calfee's Statement and Action Plans to Support Racial Justice, Equity and Inclusion
On June 1, 2020, Calfee's Managing Partner, Brent D. Ballard, shared the following "Reflections After a Weekend of Unrest" with all attorneys and staff:
I write this note to you today as I attempt to put into perspective the protests that transpired in Minneapolis, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, New York, Indianapolis, Washington and other cities across this country, as well as a concern for the damage that’s been done to some of our cities as an unfortunate aftermath of those legitimate protests. I cannot express strongly enough my feelings of anger and frustration at the clear actions of racial injustice that led to the protests. While I can’t fully understand the impact from the perspective of those who have personally experienced racism, discrimination, and oppression, I know that injustices and such acts of violence have no place in our society.
And I know that at Calfee we have the opportunity and responsibility to invoke change. We have offices and colleagues in communities that have been hit hard by these events. We are of different races, genders, backgrounds and personal views, and we are better for it. At Calfee, we are dedicated to supporting an inclusive culture, including with respect to race and ethnicity. We value every member of our firm and can be a place that sets an example for the power of inclusion, equity and justice.
It is likely that we will be living in a period of unrest and uncertainty, both economic and with respect to societal tensions and rightful demands for change, for some time to come. At times like this we need to appreciate each other more than ever, check in on each other, listen to and respect each other, and be kind to each other. Please let me know of any further thoughts or suggestions you have after you digest this.
Know that I appreciate and value each of you, please be safe.
– Brent D. Ballard
In June, Calfee's Diversity & Inclusion Committee, in collaboration with our diversity and inclusion consultant, Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper, launched a series of internal, small-group "Listening Sessions" facilitated by a member of the D&I Committee and open to all attorneys and staff. The purpose of these sessions was to provide a trusted circle for attorneys and staff to share feelings and suggestions, discuss the recent racial injustices and resulting protests, and to listen to and learn from each other. These discussions were intended, in part, to also help inform the D&I Committee's next steps to continue to support social and racial justice, equity and inclusion at our firm, in our communities and in the legal industry.
While the specific discussions were confidential to each small group, the facilitator captured common themes and questions that the groups approved for sharing with the D&I Committee members. The Committee met to discuss the common themes, questions and suggestions, and used that information to develop an action plan, the implementation of which has been the focus for Committee and sub-committee work in 2020.
For additional information on Calfee's diversity and inclusion activities and commitments, please contact our Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair, Kimberly Moses.