Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has named four law firms – Arthur Cox, Covington & Burling, Crowell & Moring and Mason Hayes & Curran LLP – as the winners of its first-ever 2021 Outside Counsel Diversity Awards. While Accenture has recognized the general outstanding contributions of outside counsel firms for the past few years, the awards now honor the company’s legal service providers for their exceptional efforts in 2020 to create a culture of equality in their workplaces and communities.
“Having a culture of equality starts with the belief that diversity matters – that it’s not only the right thing to do but an important part of your business,” said Julie Sweet, chief executive officer, Accenture. “These firms understand that, and they approach inclusion and diversity with the same discipline they apply to every business priority. It is an honor to recognize them.”
Accenture’s Legal team selected the winners from more than 65 firms, considering awards across small, medium and large law firms in three geographic regions. Firms are being recognized for their diverse representation (internally, and on staffing Accenture matters) and remarkable commitment to inclusion and diversity activities and organizations (within their own firms and across the profession and communities).
“We celebrate these firms’ commitment to thinking differently, with an eye toward action and outcomes,” said Joel Unruch, general counsel and corporate secretary, Accenture. “I truly believe that we can drive meaningful change in our industry by innovating and working together.”
Accenture recognized the following achievements, among others, as a basis for awarding this year’s diversity awards:
- Arthur Cox: Exhibited strong commitments to gender equality within the firm as well as allyship to the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, the firm has established concrete goals tied to inclusion and diversity, including at the partner level, and has initiatives to assist diverse associates’ progression to leadership roles.
- Covington & Burling: The firm is focused on the development and progression of its women and ethnic minority lawyers at all levels and has achieved 3.0 Mansfield Rule Certification Plus. In addition, the firm demonstrated a strong commitment to partnerships with diversity organizations and community action, including contributing nearly 120,000 hours of pro bono work to promote social and racial justice.
- Crowell & Moring: In addition to including a diversity pledge in its statement of purpose and consistently fielding diverse teams, the firm launched a best in class sponsorship program to accelerate the advancement of diverse lawyers, established a Board-level Racial Equity Task Force, adopted the “Crowell Rule” to ensure the consideration of diverse candidates in recruiting, as well as achieved 3.0 Mansfield Rule Certification.
- Mason Hayes & Curran LLP: As a local Irish law firm, it has gone above and beyond its peers to shift its culture to create opportunities for diverse hiring and progression for people of diverse backgrounds and ensure diverse staffing on Accenture matters. The firm has also invested in efforts to increase the representation of women and ethnic minorities at senior and executive levels.
These awards, in addition to ongoing work with firms around how they can do more to advance inclusion and diversity, reflect Accenture Legal’s commitment to diversify the pipeline of talent and enhance accountability for staffing, recruiting and promotions. They also align with Accenture’s recent actions – including setting goals to make the company more representative of communities in which its people work, rolling out new mandatory anti-racism training and making community investments – that demonstrate its unwavering commitment to inclusion and diversity.
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