Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP announced today that the Firm has earned the top rating of 100 percent on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, for the second consecutive year. The Firm is one of only 305 U.S. companies to achieve a 100 percent rating.
Released each fall, the CEI report provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. businesses and their policies and practices relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees. The 2010 CEI survey rates businesses on a scale of 0-100 percent on their treatment of LGBT employees, consumers and investors. Fried Frank received a 100 percent rating based on its inclusive non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation and gender identity, diversity education programs, health care and domestic partnership benefits, and its outreach to the LGBT community.
"Our perfect score directly reflects Fried Frank's ongoing commitment to maintaining an inclusive environment where we respect and build upon the assets and talents of everyone at the Firm," said Michael Rivera and Douglas Flaum, co-chairs of the Firm's Diversity Committee. "We proudly support our LGBT employee affinity groups, and continually work to ensure Firm policies and benefits reflect leading best practices in maintaining a fair and friendly workplace for LGBT employees. At Fried Frank, diversity and inclusion are standard operating principles."
Fried Frank has long been among the vanguard of law firms in promoting civil rights and social justice issues among its attorneys and staff. In 1999, the Firm established the Michael R. Diehl Civil Rights Forum in memory of a former corporate associate who was active in the cause of civil rights, particularly for the gay and lesbian community. Each year the Forum hosts prominent civil rights leaders to engage the Fried Frank community in a discussion of their work and progress in addressing current issues. On June 29, the Diehl Forum was held as a city-wide event for all LGBT attorneys, law students and allies in the New York area, and featured a panel discussion regarding same-sex marriage legislation in New York State with Manhattan Assembly members Daniel O'Donnell and Deborah Glick. In addition, as part of Fried Frank's recruitment process for the last decade, the Firm has participated in several LGBT career fairs and conferences, such as those sponsored by the National LGBT Bar Association and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Law Association of Greater New York (LeGal). An integral part of Fried Frank's ongoing diversity initiatives is to provide financial sponsorship and facilitate attorney participation in support of law school organizations, law students, bar associations and community groups committed to fostering diversity in the legal profession and social equality for all people.
"Fried Frank's strong commitment to diversity is evident with respect to its programs and initiatives, but it is also experienced on a daily basis interacting with colleagues," added Michael Barker, partner and member of the Firm's Diversity Committee. "My experience at Fried Frank has shown me that this is a firm where each person is respected as an individual and is given the opportunity to excel in a comfortable and supportive environment, regardless of their particular background or orientation. I am extremely proud of the Firm's record in diversity and ongoing commitment to maintaining an inclusive workplace."
For the past eight years, the HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality Index has examined various industries' corporate policies affecting LGBT employees through out the country. The survey rates companies on a scale of 0 to 100 percent based on responses provided by the companies in a questionnaire and verified by researchers. Companies invited to participate in the survey include those ranked on Fortune magazine's 1000 largest publicly traded businesses and Forbes magazine's list of the 200 largest private businesses. In 2006, the HRC began inviting law firms from the list of The American Lawyers' top 200 grossing law firms to participate. Fried Frank has earned the top rating of 100 percent since it began to take part in the survey two years ago. For this year's Index, 590 companies completed the survey.