Stuart Hindmarsh is a partner in the Corporate Group in Kutak Rock’s Rogers office. Along with Winnie Hawkins, he’s co-chair of the firm’s National Inclusiveness and Diversity Committee (NIDC).
I started on the NIDC around 2015 because inclusiveness and diversity has been important to me for a long time, and I had never done that kind of work other than being somebody who believes in the goals of diversity and inclusiveness.
"I had opportunity to be on the NIDC, and I was excited because it’s something I’ve been interested in since joining the firm, but never had the time or made the time to do early on in my career. After being on the committee for five years, there was an opportunity to become co-chair.”
Stuart says he didn’t hesitate to step into the role of co-chair when asked. “I did it because after going through my journey of being interested but not having the time, then making the time and being on the committee, I saw a unique opportunity to lead the firm’s efforts, along with my co-chair, and help direct our efforts toward lasting progress. It really seemed like the next logical step in my own work and journey as a believer and builder in the diversity and inclusiveness space.
It’s something that’s so important to me and really speaks to my heart. I get to combine something that’s a closely held core belief of mine with my work at the firm in a new way.
Stuart has very specific reasons for holding diversity and inclusiveness as core values. “Growing up and living in the South and being a white male, I've seen first-hand and benefitted from an environment with few opportunities for persons of color. There’ve been a lot of changes even in my own lifetime, but you observe inequities and injustices and things that are just fundamentally unfair with respect to the lack of diversity or the reinforcement of existing power structures or systems that discriminate or are biased against various diverse groups. It’s something that I’ve seen in my life, and I’ve always been somebody who’s very much concerned with justice and fairness.
“I have a lot of diversity in my family. I have LGBTQ family members, Black family members, Hispanic/Latinx family members, native family members, and they’re the people I care most about. They need allies.
I’ve really tried to work very hard at being a better ally and being somebody who makes diversity and inclusion part of what they do in their everyday life.
This, he says, is one of the things he brings to the NIDC. “As an ally, I think I bring a different perspective to the NIDC as opposed to being a member of any one of those diverse groups. Allyship is critical to what we’re doing as a firm, and for me personally."