'Lifting as I Rise,' Ann Jenrette-Thomas Discusses Her Career Path and the Future of D&I in Law
Stinson's Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Ann Jenrette-Thomas discussed her path to working in the D&I space at a law firm, and how she sees the future of equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession in the June edition Minnesota Women Lawyers' With Equal Right.
Ann highlighted the impact that D&I work has made in the legal space when it comes to recruiting, elevating and retaining diverse attorneys and staff.
"The best part of my job is hearing from Stinson's attorneys and staff about the positive impact our D&I efforts have made in their lives," Ann said. "I am proud of the incredible strides we have made in just 3 years, including increasing the percentage of attorneys of color by 90% and increasing the retention rate of diverse attorneys (including women) to 88%. These successes would not have been possible, but for the support of leadership, the dedication of so many people to our D&I efforts, and my wonderful team."
When it comes to the future of diversity, equity and inclusion work in the legal profession, Ann noted how important it is for all institutions in the industry to focus on identifying and removing systemic bias through mentorship, sponsorship and access to business development opportunities. "It's not enough to just address these issues on the individual level (such as unconscious bias training), but to supplement that with organizational policies, programs, and practices that help create and sustain greater equity," Ann said.