NATIONAL—Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has named new leadership for two of its cornerstone inclusion, equity and diversity (IE&D) programs – the award-winning Career Advocacy Program (CAP) and SOAR Program.
Shareholder and Senior Director of Onboarding and Integration Michelle Gomez (Denver) and Shareholder Dionysia Johnson-Massie (Atlanta) have been selected as CAP co-chairs, joining co-chair Shareholder Ted Schroeder (Pittsburgh). Shareholder Katie Blakey (Dallas) joins Shareholder and co-chair Joon Hwang (Tysons Corner) to lead SOAR, succeeding Gomez.
Since 2015, CAP has been one of the firm’s cornerstone IE&D initiatives. The program matches diverse associates (Protégés) with shareholder Advocates who encourage and foster their career growth. The program also includes client Champions who serve as corporate allies and an additional resource to our Protégés. CAP continues to be an integral initiative in helping diverse associates advance to shareholder. Since its inception, CAP has been a tremendous success – over the past nine years, Protégés have represented on average 24% and up to 40% of the new shareholder classes.
Designed as a precursor to CAP, SOAR was launched in 2017 and connects a senior attorney mentor with a new diverse attorney mentee. Mentors tap their insider knowledge and share advice on topics ranging from managing workload to navigating the wealth of resources at Littler. The goal of the program is to provide a positive experience from the beginning for new, diverse attorneys, and to help set them up for success at the firm. In 2022, 25 associates graduated from the program, and as of year-end, SOAR had 83 mentees and 64 mentors.
Littler also has a number of additional IE&D programs and initiatives, which have earned the firm numerous recognitions over the past year, including a perfect score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ+ workplace equality for the 14th consecutive year, winning Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Thomas L. Sager Award in the Labor and Employment category, and earning Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum for more than a decade, among others.
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