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Diversity & Inclusion Recent Events

National Disability Employment Awareness Month: During the month of October 2018, Lerners will be highlighting the importance of all individuals within our communities by focusing on the accomplishments and achievements of people with disabilities.

In London we will be raising funds to support Community Living London, an organization dedicated to supporting people with development disabilities. Susie Matthias, a member of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, will be in our offices working on watercolour paintings for her children’s book. Lerners and our clients will have an opportunity to see some of Susie’s artwork and speak with her about her passion for the arts.

Toronto celebrated by engaging everyone to have an open mind to the day-to-day challenges people with a disability may experience, encouraging them to experience how the environment around us can impact even the most ordinary of tasks. We also raised funds for the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS).

Extraordinary Women’s Event (EWE): For the past 12 years, Lerners’ Toronto office has hosted this Event, which gathers women who have positively impacted the lives and careers of the women at Lerners, celebrates those women and those relationships, and connects women to one another. In its early incarnation, this event was an intimate social gathering, attended by 20-40 women. It has since evolved into an eagerly anticipated, hugely popular signature event for our firm, attracting more than 200 women professionals every year, helping us to strengthen, develop and nurture professional networks. The Event is often profiled as a “must-attend” event by legal media, continuing to showcase our reputation for leadership in gender parity and broader diversity initiatives.

Lerners Women’s Symposium: The Lerners’ London office is pleased to have launched this dynamic new speakers series centered around educating, inspiring and empowering professional women to achieve their goals. Lerners Women’s Symposium will serve to showcase inspiring and dynamic women who have made significant achievements in their lines of work, from entrepreneurs to leading political figures. Most recently, this event was held on November 23, 2017, and featured Marlene McGrath, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at 3M, in an intimate one-on-one talk with Janet Stewart, Partner and former Managing Partner for over 30 years at Lerners. The conversation focused on mentoring, diversity and inclusion, career change and advancement for women in the workplace. Watch our short YouTube video showcasing the Women’s Symposium.

International Women’s Day Event: March 8, 2018 marked International Women’s Day (IWD) and provided an opportunity to acknowledge the ongoing struggle for gender equality in compensation, representation in business and politics, education and health while also recognizing improvements and progress.

In addition to wearing purple, the official colour of IWD, Lerners celebrated by hosting Delee Fromm to present on her recent book, “Understanding Gender at Work: How to Lose, Use and Expose Blind Spots for Career Success”. Relying on neuroscience, Delee explained how gender blind spots arise and result in bias in the workplace. She also explored different communication styles from a gendered perspective. Over 40 firm members attended over their lunch hour. To find out more information about Delee Fromm, her books, and her blogs watch her YouTube video.

In addition to hosting Delee, Lerners organized a clothing drive for Toronto’s “Dress for Success Toronto” and London’s “Clothing Works”. Firm members have generously donated gently used professional clothing, in particular for women, to provide job seekers who don’t otherwise have the resources the clothing and confidence to make the best possible impression with prospective employers.

Lerners is proud to have joined millions of people around the world in recognizing IWD as part of the ongoing fight for gender equality.

Black History Month: In February, 2018, Lerners welcomed Robyn Maynard and Justice Donald McLeod as speakers in our London and Toronto office.

Robyn Maynard, is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present. Robyn has spent the better part of the past decade doing frontline harm-reduction outreach work in Montreal and continues to provide training for health and social service providers on the harms created by systemic racism, criminal laws and stigmatization.

Justice McLeod grew up in Regent Park and knew he wanted to be a lawyer from the age of 10. He cofounded the youth organization 100 Strong, a non-profit organization borne out of the passion and vision of a group of accomplished, professional black men compelled to change the narrative of young African-Canada black boys as it exists today. He also co-founded Stand Up: Redefining the Colour of Success, a conference for boys in the seventh and eighth grades.