Login

Baker McKenzie implements gender and identity guidelines

Baker McKenzie implements gender and identity guidelines
Jennifer Fox Crisp says the firm saw an “opportunity to become more specific” in terms of support for transgender individuals in the firm.
Baker McKenzie has implemented its North America Gender Transition and Identity Guidelines, introducing a policy that addresses the needs of transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary gender identity employees.

The guidelines reflect best practices shared by organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Transgender Law Center.

"We are proud of our steadfast efforts to advance an inclusive workplace that promotes diversity and inclusion," said Anna Brown, Baker McKenzie's North America director of diversity and inclusion. "Gender transition and identity are important workplace equality topics, and we are delighted to implement guidelines that will increase awareness and support inclusion at our firm."

The guidelines go beyond gender transition to include gender identity, as well as explain how managers and employees can support gender transition in the workplace. They also provide direction to resources such as health insurance information and practical matters such as restroom accessibility and appropriate use of pronouns.

"This is about proactively sending a message of support to the transgender community, and ensuring that everyone knows Baker McKenzie is a safe and welcoming place for transgender individuals to be their authentic selves," says Jennifer Fox Crisp, the firm's director of global talent management in North America. "Many of our clients have already implemented similar policies, benefits and practices for transgender inclusion, and we are very pleased to join them.

“Through a conversation I have had with our North American director of diversity and inclusion [Brown] about the fact that the issue of transgender rights is becoming more openly spoken about as a workplace matter, we decided to move forward with a very clear message of support,” says Fox Crisp.

While Baker McKenzie has an overall diversity and inclusion policy, Fox Crisp says it became clear to her there was an “opportunity to become more specific” in terms of support for transgender individuals in the firm.

While Fox Crisp said the firm is making clients aware of the policy in terms of any diversity survey response, more frequently, she says, questions from clients are around openly gay or lesbian lawyers working on matters, with less focus on transgender individuals.

“It wasn’t that they were not acknowledged, but we thought it was important we provide clarity for individuals who are transgender, are transitioning or considering a transition,” she says.

Free newsletter

The Canadian Legal Newswire is a FREE newsletter that keeps you up to date on news and analysis about the Canadian legal scene. A separate InHouse Edition is delivered on a regular basis, providing targeted news and information of interest to in-house counsel.

Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Federal budget will mean significant tax changes for business: lawyer

Virtual advocacy requires better preparation and more attention: Robin Dodokin

Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society to undertake independent review tackling systemic discrimination

Muslim parties married in nikah ceremony before receiving civil divorce orders not spouses: court

Personal injury litigator urges lawyers to advocate for neglected elders amid COVID-19

A tale of two masks in court: Ontario and Quebec judges rule for and against maskless speaking

Most Read Articles

New dating app launched to help lawyers connect with people who understand the grind

A tale of two masks in court: Ontario and Quebec judges rule for and against maskless speaking

Tips for female litigators from a leader in the field

Coded language from police officers is racism