Article updated on June 17, 2021
On June 14, amidst the global celebration of Pride Month, Seattle-based firm Foster Garvey PC joined the fight towards a more inclusive work environment for all by establishing a Declared Name and Pronoun Policy. To go along with that, the firm also established its first Opportunity and Progress Council (OPC), dedicated to providing digital based resources and educating not only their staff on LGBTQ+ issues, but also motivating other firms to work towards building a more inclusive and societally aware work environment.
Reaffirming the correct use of pronouns and their importance to members of the LGBTQ+ community is paramount in establishing change. Pronouns are how we as individuals can identify ourselves apart from our birth name. For individuals in the process of transitioning, non-binary persons or people with a preference towards gender-neutral pronouns, inclusivity in personal and professional settings is a vital way to respect our peers. In essence, this action does just that, by allowing the employees of Foster Garvey PC to feel comfortable fully being themselves in all aspects of what they do at the firm.
Foster Garvey's Opportunity and Progress Council Co-Chair Paul Heer state, "Our Foster Garvey community has fully committed to our duty and moral imperative as legal professionals to support core values of inclusion, equality and respect for people of all backgrounds, both within our workplace and with the communities that we serve. Establishing this Declared Name and Pronouns Policy, and educating around it, helps to empower all of our team members, and provides our clients and our peers a standard by which to do the same."
With the consent of the employees, their declared names and pronouns will be put on all public-facing material such as their website profiles, email signatures and any other promotional materials the firm releases. Foster Garvey Co-Chair Diana Shukis stated,
Establishing our policy ensures that this belief becomes further ingrained in our firm culture. We are hopeful that sharing our policy encourages other organizations to take action to provide a safe, welcoming and inclusive workplace for employees, including those who are transitioning, gender diverse and transgender.”
Foster Garvey is not the only firm or legal based company striving towards a more inclusionary, accepting and socially conscious future during Pride Month this year. Firms such as Robinson & Cole and Morrison & Foerster are making strides both domestically and globally to harvest change and provide inclusive work environments for lawyers and firm staff from all backgrounds. These efforts hold companies and law firms accountable year-round (and not just during Pride Month) to continually strive to break down barriers of gender identity and expression in the workplace.
Foster Garvey PC has been ranked by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in 13 practice areas nationally and in 48 practice areas regionally in 2021. Foster Garvey PC has 40 listed lawyers in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© and eight Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch honorees.