Opportunity & Progress Council – Foster Garvey’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative
Foster Garvey believes it is our duty and moral imperative as legal professionals to take measurable action in support of our core values of inclusion, equality and respect for people of all backgrounds. The firm supports and invests in the work of the Opportunity & Progress Council (OPC) to break down institutional and cultural barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion.
The mission of the OPC is to champion opportunity, increase diversity and embrace inclusion to secure enduring progress towards a shared environment where everyone can do their best work together, both within our firm and in the communities we serve.
The OPC is focused on guiding Foster Garvey’s organizational culture to holistically value and advance individuals from historically underrepresented groups, including people of color, those with disabilities, women and the LGBTQ community, with an emphasis on promoting these individuals into leadership roles. By empowering and supporting a multitude of perspectives, the OPC enriches our communities and enhances our ability to best serve our clients.
The OPC furthers its mission through a number of strategic institutional initiatives, which include:
- Examining the firm’s compensation process and leave policies, and benchmarking above industry standards to find areas for improvement, including incorporating pay equity principles;
- Being active participants in diversity organizations and coalitions, including the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, where our legal professionals serve on boards and working committees, to effectively leverage resources across the nation in support of inclusion, equality and an end to systemic racism;
- Establishing an in-depth diversity, equity and inclusion training curriculum for all of the firm’s professionals;
- Housing from inception, the Washington Joint Minority Mentorship Program, serving diverse law students in partnership with a growing number of minority bar associations, including the South Asian Bar Association of Washington, the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington, the Northwest Indian Bar Association, the Indian Law Section of the Washington State Bar, the Washington Attorneys with Disabilities Association, Washington Women Lawyers and the Korean American Bar Association of Washington;
- Investing in external training programs, such as Leadership Tomorrow, to develop capable and diverse future leaders from historically underrepresented groups;
- Working with firm leadership to recruit, retain and promote diverse talent;
- Providing “wrap-around” workflow and social mentorship to incoming law student fellows from the Gregoire Fellows Program, the Multnomah Bar Association Fellows Program and the firm’s Kenneth L. Schubert Jr. 1L Diversity Fellowship Program;
- Reviewing existing vendor relationships to ensure that a certain percentage of annual firm expenditures support women and minority-owned businesses;
- Facilitating difficult conversations by creating open discussion spaces across the firm for dialogue regarding racial and social equity;
- Supporting the firm’s focus on pro bono representation for criminal justice reform and transformative justice; and
- Dedicating pro bono and community service efforts to supporting community organizations whose missions align with ours.