President and Managing Director — Littler Mendelson P.C.
I, Erin Webber, personally commit to the following:
- Honor, uphold and advance our founders’ original commitments to keep the principles of inclusion, equity and diversity (IE&D) at the forefront of every major decision we make as an organization.
- When met with challenge or resistance, and where equal rights are at stake, I will be persistent always; discouraged never.
- Endeavor to convey to our employees and clients that only with the inclusion of diverse teammates and viewpoints will we realize our highest purpose – exceptional, world-class partnership with and service to our clients.
- Littler will continue to focus on increasing the diversity of our leadership ranks, as well as the firm overall through intentional and meaningful programming and recruiting and retention efforts.
- Littler will endeavor to double the number of women, attorneys of color, and LGBTQ+ attorneys in the top quartile of our shareholder compensation schedule by 2025 through our Breaking Through Initiative.
- Littler will continue to participate in Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule which measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.
- Littler was one of the first firms to adopt and has received Mansfield Certification Plus for all four years of the program. Of note, Littler Shareholder Nina Markey was part of the original Diversity Lab Hackathon team that developed the Mansfield Rule Program in 2017.
- Littler’s affinity groups will continue to work on retaining and developing women, associates and shareholders of color, and LGBTQ+ attorneys.
- Littler’s Women's Leadership Initiative will continue its mentoring program which pairs equity shareholders, both men and women, with significant books of business with non-equity women shareholders to help them develop their practice.
- Littler remains committed to sponsoring and supporting attorney involvement attorney involvement in organizations focused on advancing IE&D. These organizations include (but are not limited to): California Minority Counsel Program, Charting Your Own Course, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, DirectWomen, Diversity Lab, Hispanic National Bar Association, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, LGBTQ+ Bar, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, National Association of Muslim Lawyers, National Association of Women Lawyers, , National Bar Association, National Employment Law Council, Out Leadership, South Asian Bar Association of North America, and Women, Influence & Power in Law.
- Littler remains committed to cultivating a culture that prioritizes inclusivity by ensuring all employees have completed the firm’s Implicit Bias training program. In 2019, Littler rolled out an Implicit Bias training program for attorneys and corporate management. To date, 83% of attorneys have completed the training. In the first quarter of 2022, the training will be available in an onDemand format for all administrative staff and new hires.
- Littler’s firm leadership will remain committed to communicating the importance of IE&D through a variety of channels, including firm-wide emails announcing updates to our diversity initiatives and award recognitions, diversity features in the firm’s internal newsletter and marketing, public relations and social media efforts focused on elevating Littler’s diverse profile externally. The firm will continue to publish an annual Inclusion, Equity & Diversity Report – highlighting the firm’s efforts throughout the previous year – to share with clients, who are increasingly requesting information on Littler’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Additionally, the firm’s “Littler Celebrates” series ties in with those months that recognize various heritages/ethnicities, including Black History, Women’s History, Asian Pacific Heritage, Pride and Hispanic Heritage.
- Littler remains committed to providing assistance to those in the greatest need through our pro bono efforts. In 2020, the firm joined the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance whose goal is to increase the focus on pro bono initiatives that address individual assaults on equality and social justice, as well as the structures in place that allow those inequalities to propagate.
- Littler will continue to hold focused and intensive leadership training for junior women shareholders with an outside consultant.
- Littler will continue to annually hold a Law Practice Consultants business development training course for shareholders, ensuring that each training class is diverse with a strong representation of women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys.
- Littler leadership will continue to work with shareholders who are approaching transitioning from the practice of law to ensure that a meaningful percentage of women, attorneys of color and LGBTQ+ shareholders are considered for managing those client relationships going forward.
- Littler will continue to review each major client to determine significant involvement with these clients of diverse attorneys either as an originating attorney or major relationship attorney, with the goal of using this information to further expand the roles of diverse lawyers in key relationships with our leading clients.
- Littler will continue to ensure that at least 25% of the attorneys who are identified in any formal proposals submitted to prospective clients are women and/or attorneys of color.
- Littler will continue to develop subject matter experts (SME) by hosting SME trainings that include a strong representation of women, attorneys of color and LGBTQ+ attorneys.
- Finally, we remain committed to ensuring that our shareholder compensation system is a transparent, objective system that rewards shareholders based on both the receipts they generate by working on client matters and by originating business from clients. We will retain and refine our formal system under which shareholders who handle matters for clients of other shareholders receive a percentage of the origination credit for the fees generated by that matter, and ensure it rewards both more junior and senior shareholders for partnering with our clients.
- Littler’s commitment and understanding that diversity and inclusion shape the human experience are reflected in the way we operate and the makeup of our firm. For example:
- Shareholder Erin Webber began an eight-year term as Littler’s Managing Director effective January 2021.
- The 2021 Board of Directors consists of 47% women, 11% of color shareholders, and 16% LGBTQ+ shareholders – and the firm reappointed Shareholder Kate Wilson as chair.
- The firm’s eight-person Management Committee, Littler’s highest governing body, is 100% diverse – including women, attorneys of color and LGBTQ+ attorneys.
- Of the firm’s 18 attorneys elevated to equity shareholder in 2021, 56% were women and 44% were attorneys of color.
- Of the firm’s 22 attorneys elevated to non-equity shareholder in 2021, 55% were women, 50% were attorneys of color and 5% identified as LGBTQ+.
- Of the firm’s office managing shareholders 38% are women.
- Of the firm’s practice and industry group leaders 35% are women, 13% are attorneys of color, and 7% are LGBTQ+.
- Our award-winning Career Advocacy Program (CAP) is the firm’s cornerstone sponsorship program, which pairs diverse senior associate Protégés with shareholder Advocates – influential leaders at Littler (e.g., rainmakers, practice group leaders and members of the Board of Directors). Together, with Champions (client general counsel), they encourage and work with Protégés to navigate their career growth. The program has been a tremendous success. From 2015 to 2020, Protégés represented on average 28% and up to 40% of the new shareholder class.
- Our new and lateral associate mentorship program, SOAR, is designed specifically to help newly hired diverse associates find their footing and excel professionally at Littler by pairing them with a shareholder mentor. Mentors share career advice and discuss the challenges and opportunities they have faced in their careers. Currently, Littler has 52 such pairings.