The Award Recipients
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) bestowed awards to diversity standouts in its Midwest Region during its annual Diversity Dinner, held in Chicago, Ill., on March 26, 2008.
Receiving MCCA's Employer of Choice Award this year are the legal departments of Cargill, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., and Eaton Corporation from Cleveland, Ohio. They were chosen for demonstrating a commitment to diversity and creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace.
Cargill, an international corporation employs a deliberate strategy to operate as one global team. At the local level, Cargill is a diversity leader in the Minneapolis/St. Paul legal community via participation in the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice program (see September/October 2007 Diversity & the Bar, pp. 58-63). Steve Euller, Corporate Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Cargill, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
The Eaton law department contributes to the corporation's supplier diversity initiative, providing minority- and women-owned law firms an equal opportunity to compete for Eaton's legal work. Eaton's General Counsel, Mark McGuire, who accepted the award on behalf of the company, is a signatory of the "Call to Action" and the Eaton law department is one of the sponsors of the upcoming "Call to Action" General Counsel's Summit on Diversity.
Receiving the Thomas L. Sager Award is the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. of Minneapolis, Minn. Named in honor of the MCCA Chairman of the Board and DuPont Company Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, this award honors law firms that demonstrate sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention, and promotion of minority attorneys.
In addition to its contribution to the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice program, Robins Kaplan has incorporated many innovative systems and practices to enhance diversity in all areas of the firm. These include behavioral interviewing, electronic assignment management, and one-on-one activities adopted by multiple associates and other firm employees. Robins Kaplan participated in diversity clerkship programs that provide opportunities for students of color to work in law firms, and also conducted minority job fairs that broaden the firm's recruiting reach and increase the number of firm-interviewed minority students. The law firm itself funds its own diversity scholarship program, and runs its own foundations aimed at enabling minority law students to succeed. Currently, the law firm has in place a professional development program, which includes a six-week training program for the diversity manager. Receiving the award was Martin Lueck, chair of the firm's executive board.
Dialogue Panel Lively Discussion
Prior to the award dinner, MCCA hosted the "Diversity Dialogue," a panel discussion of diversity best practices featuring the award winners. Hinton J. Lucas, Associate General Counsel and Chief Administration Counsel for the DuPont Company and member of MCCA board of directors, moderated the discussion, which included Steve Euller, Mark McGuire and B. Todd Jones, a partner in Robins Kaplan.
The Diversity Dialogue is part of a professional development series that gives attendees information about award-winning diversity initiatives in their local areas, as well as practical information they can take back to their companies and law firms. This year, MCCA began holding these dialogues in conjunction with the regional Diversity Dinners, and this programming combination has increased their popularity and overall success. Dinner attendees are eager to participate in the conversations, and have contributed to a spirited exchange of ideas and opinions during these sessions.
MCCA looks forward to the remaining 2008 dialogues and dinners in the West, Mid Atlantic, and Northeast Regions, and extends an invitation for all to attend this popular and worthwhile exercise. Please check the MCCA website for dates and registration information regarding these programs.
MCCA Recognizes Three Diversity Leaders in Midwest Region