Varnum Selected as Top Diversity Focused Company
The Varnum law firm was recently honored as the top Michigan-based Diversity Focused Company By Corp! Magazine, after initially ranking among 26 companies being recognized for their commitment to diversity. The award was announced Sept.10 at the 8th annual Michigan Salute to Diversity Awards, honoring businesses, organizations and business leaders who have displayed significant achievements in diversity within their organization or the community.
The award recognized Varnum's strong commitment to diversity and inclusion as evidenced by several unique programs and policies, including:
- Varnum appointed a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion attorney (2013 Corp! Magazine Diversity Leader award recipient, Elizabeth Joy Fossel) whose sole job is to enhance diversity and inclusion within the law firm as well as the broader community.
- The firm's internal Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which organizes programming to promote understanding of different cultures.
- The firm's participation in an annual minority law school clerkship program to increase the pipeline of diverse candidates for legal employment.
- The firm's engagement of college interns through a diversity intern program to further support the firm's pipeline growth.
- The firm's diversity and inclusion scholarship and fellowship programs.
Significantly, Varnum is one of the first – and possibly only – Michigan law firm to establish a Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council to provide outside input on recruiting and retention efforts and gain insight into diversity and inclusion issues. The council, established in 2007, consists of community leaders of various ethnicities, races, backgrounds, orientations, religions, and embodies many areas beyond law, such as education, health care, hospitality, social services, and the arts.
Varnum had initially been selected for the Diversity Focused Company recognition along with several other top companies including the Kellogg Company, Primera Plastics Inc., and several other global companies.
"It's an honor to be recognized as the top Diversity Focused Company, and especially so to be recognized along with many esteemed companies whose commitment to diversity is well-known to us and to others," said Fossel, who accepted the award on behalf of the firm. "While I am honored to lead the firm's Diversity and Inclusion efforts, none of them would be possible without the firm's strong commitment and the work of a lot of our attorneys and staff alike."