BOSTON – Mintz has established a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee as part of its ongoing commitment to ensuring the firm is an equitable workplace.
The Equity Advisory Council (EAC) will be responsible for driving equity for the firm’s attorneys, especially women, attorneys of color and LGBTQ+ attorneys. The EAC will report directly to the firm’s main decision making body, the Policy Committee. It will focus on implementing diverse pipelines for leadership positions, leveraging strategic partnerships for business development, and other important matters that influence the success of the populations whose interests the EAC represents.
Chaired by Mintz Public Finance, Real Estate, Bankruptcy, and Environmental Member Miyoko Sato, the EAC is made up of seven Members – Michael Renaud, Suman Chakraborty, Terri Shieh-Newton, Geri Haight, Kurt Steinkrauss, and Therese Doherty, as well as the firm’s Director of DEI, Narges Kakalia.
Managing Member, Bob Bodian said, “The firm’s leadership recognizes that we need strategic and practical solutions to meet the challenges that diverse groups of attorneys face, as well as the opportunities they provide. Our goal is to continue to enhance the firm as a place where our diverse colleagues can thrive. The EAC will address business development, leadership opportunities and other issues that affect diverse and underrepresented populations. O’Kelly already has some great ideas, and I am excited to see what the EAC does in the coming years.”
“The formation of the EAC further elevates and institutionalizes diversity, equity and inclusion for the firm as an entity and for all of the individual members, associates and staff who form our wonderful culture,” commented Mr. McWilliams. “Making the EAC a subcommittee of the Policy Committee enhances accountability for our progress and initiatives, ensuring that we impact every aspect and operation of Mintz. Quite simply put, the integration of the EAC into Mintz’s most powerful committee is the next evolutionary step in our DEI journey.”
The EAC takes the place of the firm’s Diversity Committee, which was led by Member Tyrone Thomas for over eight years. During his tenure, Mr. Thomas led through some significant challenges, including the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd.
Under Mr. Thomas’ leadership, the Diversity Committee also made some important changes at Mintz, most notably hiring a team of DEI professionals, creating a DEI Department, and establishing a voting position for the Chair of the Diversity Committee on the Policy Committee.
Mintz has a long-established commitment to ensuring it is a place where every person feels valued and able to progress through their career in a fair and equal way. In 2020, Mr. Bodian outlined a number of initiatives to enable this progression in a Juneteenth memo that he issued to the firm, which included increasing the recruitment of Black attorneys, joining the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance, encouraging employees to vote by giving Mintz employees the day off on Election Day, and making contributions to civil rights organizations, among other initiatives.