Lexpert's 2016 Zenith Awards gala ceremony was held on June 20, 2016, at the Arcadian Court in downtown Toronto. This year, the Zenith Awards were held in celebration of those who have demonstrated excellence, action and thought leadership in ways that have advanced diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.Cassels Brock is proud to announce that two of our committees were honoured as recipients: The Women's Practice Development Committee (WPDC) and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
The Women’s Practice Development Committee (WPDC) was the first firm-sanctioned, organized group on Bay Street for women lawyers. It actively educates male lawyers on the responsibility they bear in correcting gender inequities. The WPDC takes a holistic approach to improving the lives of women lawyers, both professionally and personally. The WPDC offers programs for working mothers, women and wellness, presentation skills, leadership training, gender differences in communication, and business development events for women lawyers and clients. For expectant mothers, the WPDC provides file-transition strategies and reintegration advice for returning to the office.
The mandate of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee is to ensure that Cassels has an inclusive culture. Cassels formally launched its Diversity Committee in 2014 with participation in the Canadian Institute for Diversity and Inclusion’s diversity census and engagement survey. This permitted Diversity Committee to benchmark Cassels’ existing population and to establish priorities to improve firm culture. Since its launch, the Diversity Committee has hosted three international diversity day celebrations featuring foods from cultures around the world, required firm leaders to attend diversity/unconscious bias training, worked with the student program to eliminate bias in hiring, updated accommodation and harassment prevention policies, created an affinity group policy under which two affinity groups (LGBT+ and firm members who identify as Black) participated in mentoring programs targeted to associates of under-represented groups, promoted education for all firm members through a calendar program recognizing events of significance and sponsored outreach to high school students in disadvantaged Toronto neighbourhoods.
The event was hosted by Lexpert, in partnership with The Globe & Mail.
Congratulations to our winners!