(CHICAGO) Katten announced today that the firm earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation's 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), designating Katten a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. The index measures corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.
"At Katten, we advocate for everyone to be treated with dignity and respect so this distinction by the HRC is a significant endorsement of our efforts," said Chief Diversity Partner Leslie D. Minier. "We constantly strive to offer inclusive policies, activities and initiatives that lead by example to elevate our LBGTQ community and foster a diverse work environment where all of our attorneys can advance in their careers and develop successful personal lives."
The corporate index evaluates companies in four categories: non-discrimination policies across business entities; equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families; supporting an inclusive culture; and corporate social responsibility. The results demonstrate how US-based companies across the country and abroad are promoting LGBTQ-friendly workplace policies and helping advance the cause of LGBTQ inclusion in workplaces overseas.
"From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year. Yet, many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality," said Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President. "This year has shown us that tools like the CEI are crucial in the work to increase equity and inclusion in the workplace, but also that companies must breathe life into these policies and practices in real and tangible ways. Thank you to the companies that understand protecting their LGBTQ employees and consumers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do—but the best business decision."
In addition to non-discrimination workplace protections, Katten offers benefits, including health care, leave and other assistance that extend to same-sex spouses and domestic partners as well as transgender individuals. Last year, Katten achieved certification for Mansfield Rule 3.0 for meeting the benchmarks that women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ attorneys, and attorneys with disabilities account for at least 30 percent of the candidate pool considered for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.
Katten's LGBTQ Coalition helps the firm foster an inclusive environment for attorneys and business professionals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender by providing educational and business opportunities such as a biennial LGBTQ Attorney Retreat. The firm also supports organizations that work toward equal rights for LGBTQ individuals and families in broader communities.
On a pro bono basis, Katten has successfully represented LGBTQ individuals seeking asylum, fleeing persecution in the United States and abroad, and generally facing discrimination. Katten has sponsored the Equality Illinois Gala and the Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair. Further, it has provided financial support to the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles and the LGBT Bar Association Foundation of Greater New York.