December 9, 2013 – Reed Smith LLP today announced it has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s premiere barometer for workplace equality.
“We are gratified by the HRC Foundation’s recognition of our dedicated commitment to workplace equality,” said Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner. “Our firm is a longstanding, strong supporter of equitable policies and practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees, and welcomes the HRC Foundation’s acknowledgement of our leadership and accomplishments in this important area. Although we will always strive to achieve further enhancements in this area of equality, we are very proud to have earned an A+ this year for our results. This perfect score reflects Reed Smith’s core values of teamwork and respect, and underscores our significant achievements in this key area of business practice.”
Reed Smith’s score of 100 also earned the firm the coveted distinction of being among the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” in the United States.
“We recognize and appreciate the unique talents and perspectives of our LGBT constituents – attorneys, staff and clients alike,” said Tyree Jones, Reed Smith’s Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion and Financial Industry Group Partner. “In addition to supporting equality in every aspect of our employment policies and practices, the firm proudly partners with the National LGBT Bar Association by hosting its national headquarters in our Washington, D.C., office, and collaborating with Lavender Law and many other projects, as well. We are highly invested in promoting and sustaining workplace equity throughout our firm and within the legal profession.”
Released each fall, HRC’s CEI Index is one of the most prominent measures of an organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. It has become the gold standard for corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees and their families.
“Corporate America has long recognized the imperative of LGBT inclusion by implementing their own LGBT-friendly policies ahead of lawmakers,” said HRC’s Workplace Equality Program Director Deena Fidas. “We are at the front of a new era in which major businesses are not only meeting ever-higher new bars for workplace fairness, they are exceeding them by becoming social and public policy change agents in the process. They recognize equality is not just the right thing to do, it is sound business practice.”
Law firms have been surveyed as part of the CEI since 2006. In 2014, more than 145 of them, including a majority of the AmLaw 200, participated in the HRC Foundation’s survey, which rated each firm on 40 specific policies and practices. To earn a perfect score, law firms were required to have fully-inclusive equal employment opportunity policies, provide equal employment benefits, demonstrate organizational LGBT competency, evidence a commitment to equality publicly and exercise responsible citizenship.
A total of 934 U.S. businesses are rated in the 2014 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. This year, a record 301 of the Fortune 500 have official CEI ratings, with the other 197 rated on the basis of publicly available data.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,800 lawyers in 25 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, technology and media, shipping, energy and natural resources, real estate, manufacturing, and education.
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