Diversity... Moving Forward - Summer 2014

Letter from the Diversity and Inclusion Partner

Author: Dawn Siler-Nixon, FordHarrison's Diversity and Inclusion Partner

We are fully engaged in the first phase of our Journey to Cultural Competence.  For an international employment law firm like FordHarrison, Cross Cultural Competence is essential to our delivery of services that are respectful and responsive to the needs of our diverse client base.  Culture often is described as a combination of a body of knowledge, a body of belief and a body of behavior.  It involves a number of elements, including personal identification, language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values and institutions that are often specific to ethnic, racial, religious, geographic or social groups. For the provider of human resources legal services, these elements influence beliefs and belief systems surrounding an employee's work, interactions, interpretations of actions and reactions to institutions, managers and other employees. We believe FordHarrison's Journey to Cross Cultural Competence will directly benefit our employees and our clients.  Through FordHarrison's FH-C3 program in December 2013, we tapped into the experience and expertise of our clients, fellow Ius Laboris partners and FH Affiliate firms.  In February 2014 we began to roll out a series of spotlights on the various cultural backgrounds of our national and international attorneys.  In June 2014, FordHarrison enlisted award-winning author and world-renowned speaker and trainer, Vernā Myers, to lead a Cultural Competence workshop for our Management Group and engage our more than 200+ lawyers from all over the globe in a training session on the importance of Cultural Competence.  Myers explained the results of the Firm's Intercultural Development Inventory - IDI, a test taken by every FordHarrison lawyer to determine the firm's status on the cultural competence continuum.  FordHarrison is working with Myers to chart a course over the next 18 months to achieve its goal of firm wide Cross Cultural Competence.  I hope you will join us on our journey!

Read the Diversity... Moving Forward newsletter by clicking Diversity...Moving Forward_Summer 2014.pdf.