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DLA Piper gets full marks on human rights index

DLA Piper gets full marks on human rights index

DLA Piper has received a 100 per cent rating on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2009 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The HRC is America’s largest civil organisation working to achieve lesbian,…

DLA Piper has received a 100 per cent rating on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2009 Corporate Equality Index (CEI).

The HRC is America’s largest civil organisation working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Each year, HRC invites the largest and most successful public and private companies in the United States to participate in the rating process. The CEI rates employers on a scale from 0 to 100 per cent on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees, consumers and investors.

Alastair Da Costa, Asia Managing Director of DLA Piper, said the award is particularly relevant to the success of the firm’s Asian operations and recruitment. DLA Piper operates in Australia through its alliance with DLA Phillips Fox.

“Employees in Asia are increasingly looking for employers with a strong commitment to equality and corporate responsibility,” Da Costa said.

“At the same time, companies are increasingly looking for best practices in their business partners to ensure they are not exposed to risky situations. They are also seeking counsel on the risks and advantages which arise in equality-related issues — so DLA Piper provides insights based on law as well as our own experiences in being an industry leader in this important area.

“Our commitment to equality here in Asia puts DLA Piper in a unique position [to be] attractive to clients and employees across the region.”

The Index, which this year rated 583 businesses, is based on factors such as non-discrimination policies, diversity training and benefits for domestic partners and transgender employees.

DLA Piper’s score was based on a variety of factors, including the firm’s inclusive health care benefits to employees with same-sex partners, diversity training — including components on sexual orientation — and the firm’s support of their LGBT affinity groups.

The firm also recently amended their official non-discrimination and anti-harassment/anti-retaliation policy language to specifically include protection against discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

Diversity, said Terry O’Malley, US Managing Partner of DLA Piper, was key to the global aspirations and strategy of DLA Piper. “As a firm with a global platform that spans some 25 countries worldwide, diversity is not only a core value of our firm, it is a way of life for our employees - and crucial to our overall success,” he said.

The firm has put its diversity policy into action with the establishment of a national US steering committee led by two partners from the firm’s executive committee and comprised of partners from each major office, the firm’s chief people officer and national director of professional development, among others.

Mike Davis, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, said the firm was proud of its proactive approach to diversity,

“Our ultimate goal is to integrate our diversity and inclusion efforts into all facets of firm life and to maintain an environment where diversity of all kinds is both celebrated and leveraged to benefit each other and our clients,” Davis said

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