(January 31, 2023) – Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has named new leadership for two of its cornerstone inclusion, equity and diversity (IE&D) programs – the award-winning Career Advocacy Program (CAP) and SOAR Program.
Shareholder and Senior Director of Onboarding and Integration Michelle Gomez (Denver) and Shareholder Dionysia Johnson-Massie (Atlanta) have been selected as CAP co-chairs, joining co-chair Shareholder Ted Schroeder (Pittsburgh). Shareholder Katie Blakey (Dallas) joins Shareholder and co-chair Joon Hwang (Tysons Corner) to lead SOAR, succeeding Gomez.
“On behalf of the firm, I congratulate Michelle, Dionysia and Katie – whose personal experience with the firm’s mentorship and sponsorship opportunities make them the ideal candidates to help lead these important programs,” said Paul Bateman, Littler’s Chief Inclusion, Equity & Diversity Officer. “I look forward to their continued contributions alongside Ted and Joon, as they work to ensure that our diverse attorneys have the intentional professional development opportunities they need to thrive at Littler.”
Since 2015, CAP has been one of the firm’s cornerstone IE&D initiatives. The program matches diverse associates (Protégés) with shareholder Advocates who encourage and foster their career growth. The program also includes client Champions who serve as corporate allies and an additional resource to our Protégés. CAP continues to be an integral initiative in helping diverse associates advance to shareholder. Since its inception, CAP has been a tremendous success – over the past nine years, Protégés have represented on average 24% and up to 40% of the new shareholder classes.
Designed as a precursor to CAP, SOAR was launched in 2017 and connects a senior attorney mentor with a new diverse attorney mentee. Mentors tap their insider knowledge and share advice on topics ranging from managing workload to navigating the wealth of resources at Littler. The goal of the program is to provide a positive experience from the beginning for new, diverse attorneys, and to help set them up for success at the firm. In 2022, 25 associates graduated from the program, and as of year-end, SOAR had 83 mentees and 64 mentors.
Littler also has a number of additional IE&D programs and initiatives, which have earned the firm numerous recognitions over the past year, including a perfect score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ+ workplace equality for the 14th consecutive year, winning Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Thomas L. Sager Award in the Labor and Employment category, and earning Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum for more than a decade, among others.
A full list of the firm’s accolades, as well as a comprehensive overview of Littler’s ongoing programming and initiatives can be found in the firm’s 2022 Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Annual Report and on Littler.com.
With approximately 1,700 labor and employment attorneys in offices around the world, Littler provides workplace solutions that are local, everywhere. Our diverse global team and proprietary technology foster a culture that celebrates original thinking, delivering groundbreaking innovation that prepares employers for what’s happening today, and what’s likely to happen tomorrow.