American's Legal Department Recognized for Outstanding Achievement in its Commitment to Diversity and the Advancement of Women Attorneys of Color
FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Airlines Legal Department has been selected to receive the inaugural Diversity Award of Excellence from the Corporate Counsel Women of Color® (CCWC). American will be recognized with three other honorees on Oct. 6 during the CCWC's keynote luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
"American's commitment to diversity is not a slogan or a tagline," said Gary Kennedy, AMR Corp. and American's Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. "Diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of American, and we are honored to be recognized by an outstanding organization such as the Corporate Counsel Women of Color."
CCWC is an international organization of women of color attorneys who work primarily for Fortune 1000 and Forbes 2000 companies. Founded in 2004, the mission of the CCWC is to provide a support network to in-house women attorneys of color and to promote the national and international advancement of women of color in the legal profession and workplace.
American's Legal Department was recognized for its exemplary efforts in recruiting, retaining, and the advancement of women of color attorneys through training, mentorship, and other initiatives. Of the 14 new hires since 2003, seven have been minorities (50 percent), eight have been women (57 percent) and four have been women of color (28 percent).
Additionally, American is committed to the importance of mentoring and developing women for professional careers in law. It supports these efforts by:
- Mentoring minority students at the Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Fort Worth
- Providing speakers for various law school conferences, including the National Black Law Students Association Annual Convention and the National Black Pre-Law Students Association
- Sponsoring law school scholarship efforts through support of the J.L. Turner Legal Association Foundation's Scholarship Gala, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association and the Dallas Asian-American Bar Association
American also closely monitors the participation of attorneys of color with its outside firms, tracking the billable hours of diverse attorneys both quarterly and annually, with hours tracked for minority attorneys in majority firms, minority-owned firms and women-owned firms. This tracking ensures minority attorneys benefit economically from American's business.
"American understands that speaking at conferences and mentoring is important," said Kennedy. "However, minority law firms and minority attorneys must participate in the economic benefits of doing business with American for our efforts to have a broader and more significant overall impact on society."
"The American Airlines Legal Department is a model of an ideal work environment for women of color in the corporate legal space," said Laurie Robinson, Founder and CEO of the CCWC. "Its diverse staff, exhaustive recruitment efforts, the tracking and monitoring of the outside firms it retains, and its support through mentoring and providing scholarships to diverse organizations make American a clear choice for our inaugural Diversity Award of Excellence."
"The diversity of our attorneys contributes to the business beyond sound legal advice," said Lauri Curtis, American's Vice President – Diversity, Leadership and Engagement. "Several of them lead our employee resource groups and provide valuable insight into many other business decisions. We're a more progressive company as a result of hiring minority attorneys and doing business with minority law firms."
For more information on the American Airlines Diversity Supplier Program, in which several law firms participate, visit AA.com/supplierdiversity.