I, Stephen Gauster, personally commit to the following:
- As a purpose-driven company, we are galvanized not only to speak for but, more importantly, to act in support of a more inclusive workplace and just society. We recognize that despite having made strides, more must be done to uproot systemic injustice and ensure every member of our department and community feels equal and included.
- As a first-generation American of Mexican and Austrian descent, I am committed to developing a culture of equity and inclusion that protects all people and values all voices. We must level the playing field and overcome the unintentional biases that have historically disadvantaged minority members of our community.
- Accountability for change starts with me and my senior leadership team. We will lead from the front by championing inclusion and holding ourselves accountable for meaningful and measurable results.
- We strengthen our workforce through sponsorship and broad access to leadership development programs.
- We strive to sustain our culture of stewardship, where senior leaders take responsibility for the development of their employees. Our Talent Stewardship Initiative furthers this goal by creating lasting sponsorship relationships and making transparent the key skills needed for advancement.
- We commit to providing diverse employees with access to a wide range of leadership development programs, including the Black In-House Counsel Network, Rise Up, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), and Corporate Counsel Women of Color.
- We commit to developing a diverse talent pipeline by supporting diverse internship programs, including partnerships with the City Bar Justice Center, LatinoJustice, and LCLD.
- We promote diversity in the legal profession by retaining diverse outside counsel.
- We challenged our outside counsel to enhance DEI in their firms through the Law Firm Sponsorship Program, and we commit to continue working with our firms to implement sponsorship principles in a way that is aligned with each firms’ values. We encourage each of our panel firms to achieve Mansfield certification.
- Quarterly, we review our diverse outside counsel spend. Key metrics include outside counsel spend with women and minority owned law firms, and we are actively collecting and pursuing more detailed metrics of diverse staffing of matters at our top firms.
- We request that all of our firms participate in the annual ABA Diversity Survey and complete the client supplement.
- We enhance diversity in hiring and recruiting by reviewing diverse slates of candidates for all roles and meeting the Mansfield 3.0 certification standard for corporate legal departments.
- We expand opportunities for our paraprofessionals through MetLife’s Workforce of the Future investments. We seek to continuously create opportunities for paralegals, legal administrative assistants and operations professionals to take on higher-level and more challenging work.
- We empower and serve our communities. We build stronger communities and provide professional development opportunities for employees through our Diversity and Sustainability committee.