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 third consecutive year. The Firm is one of only 338 US companies to achieve a 100 percent rating.
The CEI report provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large US businesses and their policies and practices relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees. The 2011 CEI survey rates businesses on a scale of 0 to 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 or expression, diversity education programs, health care and domestic partnership benefits, its LGBT employee resource group and its outreach to the LGBT community.
"Fried Frank is pleased to have once again been recognized by HRC as a leader in maintaining an inclusive culture that values individuality, promotes equal opportunity and champions its LGBT employees," said Douglas H. Flaum and Michelle B. Gold, co-chairs of the Firm's Diversity Committee. "The Firm continues its longstanding commitment to furthering the professional and personal development of our LGBT community through our policies, employee affinity groups, and recruitment and training initiatives."
The Firm hosts the annual Michael R. Diehl Civil Rights Forum, established in 1999 in memory of a Fried Frank corporate associate who was active in LGBT rights causes and died in a tragic accident, inviting civil rights leaders to engage the Fried Frank community in discussion of their important work addressing LGBT issues. Recent panel participants include ACLU attorneys, who addressed emerging LGBT youth issues and their work on the landmark Mississippi prom discrimination case (2010), and Manhattan Assembly Members, who discussed marriage equality legislation in New York State (2009). Past Forums featured prominent judges, lawyers, authors and professors.
As part of Fried Frank's recruitment process for the last decade, the Firm has participated in several LGBT career fairs and conferences, including 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.
For the past nine years, the HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality Index has examined various industries' corporate policies affecting LGBT employees throughout 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 Lawyer's 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 three years ago. This year's Index rated 616 companies.