To realize the true power of a diverse and inclusive workforce, an organization must encourage an environment where all professionals feel supported and have a sense of belonging. With this as our goal, Venable has adopted a multipronged approach to recruit, retain, and promote diverse talent. Through these efforts, we have realized a 50% increase in the number of racially diverse attorneys among our ranks and doubled the number of partners and counsel who are women in just the past decade. In 2021, Venable hired its inaugural chief diversity and inclusion officer, building on the firm's board-level Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, which was established by our chairman, Stu Ingis, in 2017. In 2022, we established our Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Council members are the chairs and co-chairs of our current lawyer affinity groups: Venable Success Network (VSN – supporting African American attorneys), Women at Venable (WAVe), LGBTQ @ Venable, Venable Attorneys Making our Success (VAMOS – supporting Hispanic/Latino/a/x attorneys), and Asian Pacific Excellence (APEX – supporting Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander attorneys).
While we are proud of our progress to date, the ongoing struggle for racial, social, and gender equity underscores the urgent need to do even better. And so, we are redoubling our resolve to nurture a truly inclusive environment, through continuously seeking out highly skilled lawyers, paraprofessionals, and support staff from a wide range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and social backgrounds, and developing and implementing programs, outreach, and mentoring opportunities that promote their personal and professional growth.