I, Vanessa Benavides, personally commit to the following:
- I will use my position, network, privilege, and voice as a leader in my organization and in the legal community to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession and in my community.
- I will ensure that each of my direct reports is held to clear expectations with regard to equity, inclusion and diversity in how they manage their teams and outside counsel.
- I will continue to support and advance our EID Program so that every member of our Legal Department recognizes and is inspired by our commitment to continual learning, development, and belonging.
- I will promote opportunities for advancement within our department with the aim that our department better reflect the diversity of our work force, our members, and our communities over time.
- I will require that diversity be an important factor in succession planning for Legal Department leadership positions.
- I will continue to support Kaiser Permanente’s Business Resource Groups (BRGs) as an executive sponsor of the KP African American Professional Association, as well as ensuring that Legal Department EID efforts align and strengthen the broader Kaiser Permanente EID efforts.
- We will continue to seek diverse candidate pools for hiring and promotion within the Legal Department and take appropriate steps to avoid bias in hiring and promotion processes.
- We will continue to direct a significant percentage of our legal spend to law firms owned by women and minorities, and we are committed to find opportunities to work with firms owned by members of the LGBTQ community, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.
- Our decisions to retain outside counsel will consider each law firm’s demonstrated commitment to quality, affordability and diversity.
- Assessment of law firm diversity will take into account the representation of attorneys who are minority, female, LGBTQ, individuals with disabilities, and veterans in the firm’s equity partner ranks, executive leadership and compensation committees.
- We will be transparent and publicize our practice to favor law firms that are committed to our diversity and inclusion goals.
- We will review the staffing and assignments of matters at majority firms to track whether our diversity objectives are met.
- We will support and promote our lawyers’ participation in LCLD and other minority bar associations that provide development opportunities for our diverse attorneys and their allies.
- We will continue to support the pipeline of diverse students entering the legal profession by providing opportunities through our externship program and ongoing involvement with programs such as Move the Needle and LCLD 1L Scholars.
We will measure our progress in a number of ways:
- We will track the percentage of new matters that we send to MWOBEs.
- We will track the percentage of new matters that are staffed by diverse attorneys at majority firms.
- We will track our hiring and promotion data.
- We will track who is provided with leadership program opportunities.