Gibbons P.C. to Complete Mansfield Certification Process as Part of Its Commitment to Diverse Leadership
August 17, 2022
Gibbons P.C. is participating in the Mansfield 6.0 Certification Process, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to diversifying its leadership. The firm joins more than 180 law firms nationwide that are registered for the year-long process, which leads to eligibility for certification in July 2023.
Launched in 2017 by Diversity Lab, “an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law,” the Mansfield Certification has since expanded its parameters and increased in rigor, with input from an advisory board of diversity leaders. The 6.0 version requires firms to consider historically underrepresented lawyers – women lawyers, racial and ethnic minority lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities – for at least 30 percent of available roles when appointing, electing, or promoting attorneys into leadership positions and equity partnership, and to further consider similarly underrepresented talent for 30 percent of all C-suite roles. The certification process also involves other activities that focus on the path to leadership, including the nominations of underrepresented attorneys for various industry honors and awards, and their enlistment to take part in formal client pitches.
In addition, participating firms are obligated to share best practices and lessons learned, define and publish job descriptions for all leadership roles, and meet numerous check-in, data-collection, and reporting milestones throughout the certification year.
Kristin D. Sostowski, a Director in Gibbons’s Employment & Labor Law Group and past President of the National Association of Women Lawyers, serves as the firm’s “Mansfield Partner Champion,” described by Diversity Lab as an influential senior partner “who has in-depth knowledge of the firm’s talent practices, is involved in decision-making related to the Mansfield Rule categories, and can educate the partnership about the Mansfield Rule to ensure strong leadership engagement.” She chairs Gibbons’s Mansfield working group, which also includes Kelly Ann Bird, Director, Employment & Labor Law; Anne M. Collart, Director, Commercial & Criminal Litigation (CCL); Hayley C. Conklin, Deputy Executive Director and Interim Chief Human Resources Officer; Jennifer A. Hradil, Vice Chair, CCL; June M. Inderwies, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer; Kate E. Janukowicz, Director, CCL and Director, Professional Development, Retention, and Associate Recruitment; Robert Johnson, Director, Corporate and Chief Diversity Officer; Joshua S. Levy, Director, CCL; Michael J. Lubben, Director, Corporate; Bisola A. Taiwo, Director, Real Property; and Peter J. Torcicollo, Managing Director.
“The Mansfield Certification aligns well with the firm’s longstanding commitment to increasing the representation of diverse attorneys,” remarked Ms. Sostowski, adding, ”Our fantastic and diverse working group is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Diversity Lab and continue enhancing our internal practices to promote the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in firm leadership roles.”
“We are pleased to take part in the Mansfield Certification to advance our diversity goals,” said Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Executive Chairperson. “Led by Kristin, our Mansfield team will build on policies and processes already in place to further diversity among our leadership.”
Gibbons remains dedicated to nurturing a broadly inclusive workforce through ethnic, gender, and other forms of diversity, with a comprehensive strategy to do so. In 2022 to date, historically underrepresented lawyers account for 50 percent of the firm’s promotions to equity partner and 66 percent of its associate-to-partner promotions. In addition, women make up 40 percent of Gibbons’ Executive Committee.
Under the leadership of Mr. Johnson, Gibbons continues to promote diversity at all firm levels and among the legal profession’s future leaders through such longstanding and successful programs as the Gibbons Diversity Initiative (GDI) and Gibbons Women’s Initiative (GWI). GDI focuses on training, mentoring, retention, and innovative programming for attorneys and staff, and also administers the Clerkship to Associate Pipeline Program, which helps highly qualified diverse students from area law schools to prepare for clerkships and post-law school employment. GWI provides reputation-building and practice development opportunities through a roster of educational, networking, mentoring, and social programs. Since its inception, GWI has grown into a highly respected organization, with more than 60 women attorneys at the firm actively working on GWI programming and more than 2,000 women participating.
“GDI and GWI are the firm’s fundamental tools for creating and deploying policies and programming to achieve and expand diversity at Gibbons,” noted Mr. Johnson. “We have always understood the distinct value diversity brings to the workplace, providing critical and constructive perspectives and enhancing cultural competence, which enables us to be more solutions-oriented and effective for one another and for our clients.”
“Without a doubt, cultivating a diverse workforce is integral to our success. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to become Mansfield certified and look forward to collaborating with this important community of our peers,” added Mr. Torcicollo.