Moving the Needle, Together
From all over the United States, Inclusiveness and Diversity Committee members take inclusiveness and diversity seriously, with a focus on systems and structures and developing and following a firmwide inclusiveness and diversity strategic plan. However, the 11 Committee members themselves will tell you that at Kutak Rock, it’s about encouraging every individual to participate vis a vie whatever role they have in the firm and in their community.
The result is the Firm’s Inclusiveness and Diversity Forum: an effort involving hundreds of people across Kutak Rock in a host of activities. Everyone at the firm is welcome to participate in and help shape training and education programs, affinity group activities, and pipeline programs for young people.
Ed Gonzales, Co-Chair
Serving on the National Inclusiveness and Diversity Committee has afforded me a front row seat to the commitment at Kutak Rock to promoting a diverse environment and nurturing a culture of inclusion.
The firm strives to create and support a diverse workforce in every career stage. We start by enlightening young minds to “the law” through pipeline groups, courtroom visits and our annual “Law Day.” Then the firm follows up with diversity-oriented outreach and other events designed to inspire young people from disadvantaged communities to consider legal careers. These efforts continue through training in, education about, recruitment through, sponsorship of, and membership in a number of diversity-related organizations.
In addition to seeding the pipeline with potential future lawyers, Kutak Rock endeavors to hire and retain women and minorities and promote qualified members of each group to regional and firmwide leadership positions. Through the firm’s forum, made up of over 20 affinity and pipeline groups, the firm also gives a voice to traditionally underrepresented firm populations on matters relating to promotion and leadership, education and training, and mentoring and policy development. These diversity and inclusiveness efforts have not only led to real change across the firm, but they have also strengthened the core of Kutak Rock and the communities we are involved in, while earning the firm some awards and accolades from peers and watch groups along the way.
We have made great progress, and together we hope to continue to effect meaningful and longstanding positive changes throughout the firm and its related communities.
Now more than ever it’s important that Kutak Rock stand behind inclusiveness and diversity in the workplace and in the communities we serve. The firm’s ongoing efforts to support its employees and attorneys demonstrate our commitment to the timeless principles on which the firm was founded more than 50 years ago. Through concerted education and training efforts, coupled with Kutak Rock’s culture, we’ve maintained—and grown—the vision that Robert J. Kutak strived for decades ahead of the curve. It’s who we are and who we’ll continue to be.
As former chair of the LGBTQ and Allies Affinity Group and as a developer of the Training and Education Forum for the firm's National Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee, I’ve seen the results of the firm’s ongoing efforts: better client service, innovative thinking and a welcoming atmosphere that fosters collaboration. Our past success paints a bright future for the firm as we move further into the 21st century fully committed to equality.