SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Brooks Kushman is honored to be a recipient of the 2018 ChIPs Honor Roll Award for advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Recipients were selected based on a ground-breaking Inclusion Blueprint Survey, spearheaded by ChIPs and Diversity Lab, that measures gender diversity in law firm leadership and related indicia. Brooks Kushman topped the survey, scoring the highest overall points of 35 participating firms.
“We are honored to be recognized by ChIPs and Diversity Lab for this award,” said Sangeeta Shah, Shareholder and Chief Diversity Officer. “Over the last decade, we have strived to provide equitable advancement and compensation systems to propel women in leadership positions and build a robust pipeline for the future. We’re pleased to receive recognition for our efforts and mindful of the work that remains to drive the needed change within our firm and the legal industry at large. This award will push us to work even harder.”
In the past decade, women and diverse attorneys have increased their ranks in Brooks Kushman’s leadership positions. Over 30% of the firm’s officers, 40% of the firm’s management committee and 25% of the firm’s partnership comprise women and diverse attorneys. In terms of the pipeline, over 40% of Brooks Kushman’s associates are women and diverse attorneys.
The Inclusion Blueprint Survey was the result of a joint initiative between Diversity Lab and ChIPs— a nonprofit organization focused on advancing and connecting women in technology, law and policy—to develop a new survey that measures the processes and experiences that provide equal access to work, growth and leadership opportunities. The survey was sent to 59 firms across the nation and evaluated criteria in three main categories: (1) gender representation in leadership; (2) inclusion activities and tracking at the leadership level; and (3) inclusion activities and tracking in the IP group.
“The Inclusion Blueprint Survey is different from traditional law firm diversity surveys, as it goes beyond just measuring headcount,” said Karen Royer, Executive Director of ChIPs. “Our survey aims to encourage and support inclusion efforts by honoring law firms that have fair and transparent advancement and compensation processes that contribute to a higher representation of women in leadership. It also honors firms that make a concerted effort to track and measure equitable access to work experiences and opportunities to ensure there is a diverse associate pipeline on-track for equity partnership in the IP group.”
The award was presented to Brooks Kushman at the ChIPs’ Women in Tech, Law and Policy Global Summit on October 18th by Noreen Krall, ChIPs Board Member and Vice President, Litigation at Apple, who congratulated honorees’ efforts to “level the playing field and move the needle on the representation of women in law.”
As Chief Diversity Officer, Shah leads the firm’s diversity committee, which develops and implements Brooks Kushman’s diversity, equity and inclusion programs and community outreach initiatives. Brooks Kushman has been a long-time supporter of ChIPs and several other inclusion-centric organizations. Shah is also one of the four founding organizers of the ChIPs Chicago Regional Chapter that was formed in early 2018. The purpose of the Chicago chapter is to expand ChIPs’ influence and ability to positively impact communities in the Midwest.
ChIPs is a nonprofit organization focused on advancing and connecting women in technology, law and policy. ChIPs seeks to accelerate innovation in these areas by increasing diversity of thought, participation and engagement. At ChIPs, members are united in the belief that diversity, of all types, is essential to innovation and to a thriving, evolving society. Membership is open to anyone who shares this mission. Founded in 2005 by seven women chiefs of intellectual property, it has expanded beyond those roots, now with over 3,000 members and nine regional chapters in the United States and abroad. Many members are engaged at the heart of current events — as active participants in the lawmaking, policymaking, judicial, advocacy and innovation processes. Please visit www.chipsnetwork.org.
About Diversity Lab
Diversity Lab is an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law. Experimental ideas are created through our Hackathons and piloted in collaboration with more than 50 top law firms and legal departments across the country. Diversity Lab leverages data, behavioral science, design thinking, and technology to further develop and test the ideas, measure the results, and share the lessons learned. For more information, visit www.diversitylab.com.