DIVERSITY INITIATIVE (FOR INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS) OF
THE WICHITA BAR ASSOCIATION
In 2006, the Managing Partners Committee of the Wichita Bar Association implemented an Initiative in the form of an action plan to promote diversity in the Wichita legal community for recruiting and retaining under-represented groups in Wichita firms as associates, partners and staff.
These efforts have yielded progress, but more work remains to be done and the Member Firms are recommitting themselves to be more inclusive. As individual lawyers we also are committed to diversity, including without limitation diversity of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, age and veteran status, in our legal community. We too will focus our efforts on education, recruitment and retention by implementation of best practices. Our overarching commitment is to the goal of increasing diversity in under-represented groups in the Wichita bar as lawyers, associates, partners and staff.
The benefits of the work of the participating firms over the past decade will be enhanced and maximized only if the firms, and attorneys in their individual capacity, are able to maintain a culture and environment that promotes and welcomes diversity. In addition to the other action steps described in this Initiative, continuing education of all attorneys and their staffs is necessary to reach this goal.
1. We are committed to activities that can build diversity acceptance and strength throughout the Bar.
2. All attorneys and their employees should receive education and training designed to maintain and enhance a culture which welcomes and supports diversity in recruitment and retention at all levels including identifying personal and implicit bias.
The Wichita Bar Association Professional Diversity Committee will identify sources for training and communicate with the Bar opportunities for education and training in support of the Initiative.
Attorneys should continue to strive to increase the numbers of diverse attorneys and staff hired, and the challenge now includes the task of retaining those employees. Retaining diverse attorneys and staff requires that attorneys recognize and understand why those individuals may leave. Understanding the stressors that lead to the loss of diverse legal talent can help attorneys create strategies to eliminate those causes. Each Attorney should establish his or her own form of mentor program to provide diverse attorneys and staff with insight into the Bar’s practices and culture, substantive work opportunities and other matters that may be relevant to job satisfaction.
Click here to view individuals who have signed the Wichita Bar Association Diversity Initiative.