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Affinity Groups

Yvette McGee Brown, Kapri Saunders, and Daniella Vespoli talk about Jones Day's  diversity initiatives and affinity groups, which focus on recruiting, retention, career development, and helping women, black, and LGBTQ+ lawyers advance professionally.

Read the full transcript below:

Yvette McGee Brown:

Jones Day's diversity initiatives are local and global. So, in each of the offices, we have a Diversity Committee. We have a Women's Affinity Committee. In some offices, we have a Black Lawyers Group, and in some offices we also have an LGBTQ+ Committee. Firm-wide we have all of those committees that meet quarterly by conference call, and then a firm-wide Diversity Committee. The goal of the Diversity Committee is really about setting strategies around recruiting, retention, and advancement of diverse lawyers in Jones Day.

Kapri Saunders:

There are several affinity groups at Jones Day, which are great, but the Women's Group in Cleveland was my first introduction into it. The women there were very supportive, whether it was with career development, business development, or just general lawyering skills, that was a very supportive group to be a part of. I've continued to be a part of the Women's Group here in San Francisco, which has also been a similarly great experience. I am also part of the Black Lawyers Affinity Group here. Besides connecting the Black lawyers throughout the firm with each other, it also provides mentoring and skills or other considerations that you're considering as a Black attorney at Jones Day.

Daniella Vespoli:

Jones Day has always been committed to diversity in the development and advancement of all of its lawyers, including LGBT lawyers like myself. The Affinity Group was founded as a way to more formalize what's already been happening, which is the firm supporting individual lawyers in individual offices with different LGBTQ+ initiatives.

Yvette McGee Brown:

What we want to do is live one firm worldwide. And so what I say to all of our lawyers is, "You have a community across the firm." And so by connecting them with quarterly conference calls, lawyers have a chance to talk with each other about common interests, whether it's supporting a specific pro bono cause, like our LGBTQ+ lawyers did. Whether it's taking the call to action around the Clemency Project, which many of our Black lawyers wanted to get involved in. It's really about creating opportunity for connection and affinity, because people stay where they feel a part of.

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