Implementing an Organizational Strategy
Three key strategies are at the core of Seyfarth’s diversity and inclusion efforts: strengthening our talent pipeline, building our internal-external networks, and implementing an organizational strategy. Our organizational strategy includes: Creating focused programs, policies and business practices that drive change; building active engagement throughout our organization; and delivering on the expectations of our people to build a more diverse, inclusive culture.
SEYFARTH STORIES: Laura Maechtlen
In late 2016, Laura Maechtlen — then national vice-chair of Seyfarth’s L&E department and the national co-chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Action Team — helped bring a mindfulness session to the firm’s partner retreat.
The session was part of SeyfarthLife, an initiative Laura and other firm leaders were kicking off firmwide in early 2017. SeyfarthLife is a targeted effort to increase the firm’s organizational resiliency. The program recognizes the importance of work-life integration and its connection to sustaining a high-performing culture. It supports and sustains a culture of self-assessment, improvement, and innovation to enable the highest levels of performance and career satisfaction.
“We did not know if any of our partners would attend the mindfulness session, and wondered if they would think it was not a good use of their time,” Laura says. “Instead, we probably had 40 to 50 people for each of our two sessions. It was a pretty amazing moment as we realized that people thought it was important to have these tools to help them reach their peak performance.”
SeyfarthLife’s mission is to provide services that promote individual health, wellness, and well-being for all Seyfarth attorneys and staff. Those services include:
- Organizational Support: Career paths, benefits, and policies to promote work-life integration.
- SeyfarthWork & Lean: Process improvement and efficiency coaching to reduce stress.
- Individual Development: Personalized trainings to promote resilience and well-being.
- Community: Support groups and mentoring programs designed to increase social connectedness.
National Diversity and Inclusion Action Team (DIAT) Network: Seyfarth D&I initiatives are led and implemented by a matrix within the internal organization. Our overall efforts are led by our firm chair and two national co-chairs, with input from the firm’s Executive Committee. In addition, six firm-sponsored affinity groups are responsible for sustaining collaboration and community within Seyfarth and national participation with leading affinity bar organizations.
Each office also maintains a local DIAT Leadership Team, focused on supporting the local community and its diversity-and-inclusion efforts.
Seyfarth Diversity & Inclusion Day: In 2016, Seyfarth launched its annual Diversity & Inclusion Day, in recognition of the United Nations World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. We take this opportunity to recognize our D&I Champion, our office-based DIAT communities, and spend time as a firm and in each office honoring the diversity and inclusion within our firm culture.
Diversity Scorecard: Our firm actively assesses its own performance on diversity and inclusion based on a comprehensive list of factors defined by clients, bar associations, and other surveys on a quarterly basis. Points of measurement include recruiting efforts, demographics, and utilization rates.
Policies and practices: We develop policies and practices with a diverse workforce in mind, and have won national recognition for these practices from the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, Working Mother magazine, and the Human Rights Campaign.