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Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Montréal, Quebec

Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Name Laleh Moshiri
Diversity website:
Please describe your diversity programs and initiatives At BLG we believe that diversity strengthens our business and enriches our culture.
Diversity and inclusion are critical to our ability to serve our clients and thrive as a law firm.
The diversity of our talent allows us to assemble teams of individuals with different perspectives who can develop innovative solutions to today’s legal and business challenges.
Our mission is to foster and maintain a welcoming and inclusive work environment in which everyone feels valued and respected; and each individual has the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge, advance their career and participate in the success of the Firm.
BLG was the first Canadian law firm to appoint a full time National Director of Diversity and Inclusion. In consultation with our Diversity and Inclusion Council, our Director and our Manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, develop and execute our diversity and inclusion strategic plan and ensure that the Firm takes a pro-active approach to diversity and inclusion in every aspect of its operations. As part of our pro-active approach, we continuously review our policies, processes and practices with a diversity lens to ensure that we eliminate barriers and support inclusion.

Internal Initiatives

•The creation of a Transgender Inclusivity and Accommodation Policy including gender affirmation coverage through our extended health care benefits. (We have had two on the job gender transitions since we introduced our policy.)
•A framework of support around maternity/paternal leaves. (BLG provides all of its professionals with equal parental leave regardless of gender, sexual orientation, and method of family formation. We offer a new parent coaching program as well as a maternity/parental leave re-integration program to minimize the impact of a leave on the professional’s development.)
•The creation and support of four Action Committees (Abilities, Indigenous, PRIDE and Race). Our action committees are comprised of firm members who share an affinity and allies, who wish to participate in grass roots initiatives supporting BLG’s D&I strategy.
•An Affinity mentor program for students who are seeking additional mentorship.
•Posting diversity related news, resources and information on our dedicated intranet page. Resources include Tip Sheets that serve as quick guides on diversity and inclusion.
•Providing partners with their delegation statistics broken down by gender. This allows them to examine who they are assigning work to as well as who they are overlooking and encourages them to distribute their work to a broader range of lawyers.
•Targets for diverse representation in leadership as well as guidelines for ensuring that diversity is top of mind in our interactions with clients, in our leadership appointments and in key talent processes, such as recruitment and promotion. The
guidelines, which were adopted in 2020, include requirements
for representation on shortlists as well as reporting requirements. In
addition, each of our practice groups is required to have a customised
diversity and inclusion action plan that addresses recruitment, work
allocation, promotion and succession planning.
•A sponsorship program targeted at women and members of under-represented groups. This program focuses on career advancement and includes concrete plans of action together with reporting requirements.
•Collecting demographic data to better understand the composition
of our workplace and to better serve our people’s needs.
•A Reflections Room with written resources for Firm members who wish to
observe their faith, meditate or take a mental health break.
•Training and education programs on diversity related topics. Examples include:
oConversations about Race: Anti-Black Racism
oConversations about Race: Anti-Asian Racism
oLaw and Reconciliation: What does meaningful relationship buiding look like
oBystander Intervention Training
oIn conversation with Hadiya Roderique
oThe Private Sector’s role in reconciliation with Senator Murray Sinclair
oRecognizing, Understanding and Minimizing Implicit Bias
oBuilding Vibrant Partnerships Between Men and Women
oThe Myth of Meritocracy
oEconomic Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
oBuilding Vibrant Partnerships between Men and Women
oHow to build an LGBT inclusive workplace
oThe Duty to Accommodate Trans Individuals
oJean Augustine – Examining the Relevance of Black History Month 25 Years Later
oPresentations from authors Jesse Thistle, Tanya Talaga, Lawrence Hill
oCBA’s The Path: A Journey to Indigenous Canada has been made available to all firm members

Community Partnerships
To help us achieve our goals, we have partnered with a number of
community organizations:
Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network (LFDIN): BLG is one of the founding
signatories to the Statement of Principles of LFDIN, a group of Canadian law firms that
have agreed to work together to promote diversity and inclusion within their firms and the
broader legal profession.
Pride at Work Canada: BLG is a national corporate sponsor of Pride at Work Canada, a leading not-for-profit organization supporting the LGBT community in Canadian workplaces.
Catalyst Canada: BLG is a member of, and active participant in,
Catalyst Canada, the leading non-profit research and advocacy
organization dedicated to creating opportunities for women and business
in Canada.
Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce: BLG is a member of
CGLCC, Canada’s certifying body for LGBT owned businesses.
The 30% Club: BLG is a member of the 30% Club, an organization committed to working
towards having 30% of corporate boards and C-suite positions held by women by 2019, as well as a signatory to the 2022 Catalyst Accord, a call to action issued by Catalyst for corporate Canada to increase the percentage of women on boards and in senior executive positions to 30% by 2022.
The BlackNorth Initiative: BLG has signed the law firm pledge which includes commitments to increasing representation of Black lawyers and increasing economic opportunities for the Black community.
Community Involvement
BLG’s commitment to diversity and inclusion extends into the community. We support and participate in programs and activities organized by various law faculties, law societies and associations committed to promoting diversity and inclusion. For example:
• Sponsoring LSAT preparation courses for undergraduate students with financial need at University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Calgary, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia and University of Western Ontario.
• Sponsoring "See Yourself Here," the University of Toronto Faculty of Law's annual open house geared towards high school, university and mature students from a broad range of communities that are under-represented in the legal profession.
• Supporting the Black Future Lawyers Program.
• Supporting the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers; the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers; the South Asian Bar Association; and the Black Female Lawyers Network; and the Canadian Association of Muslim Women Lawyers.
Health and Wellbeing
•Education and training offered through a variety of channels
including: live presentations, LifeSpeak on Demand. A program on
Resilience is offered to our students each year.
•Health and Wellbeing resources on a dedicated page on
firm intranet.
•Employee Assistance Program for all.
•Extended health benefits in the amount of $5,000 for psychological
services. (Not for summer law students but for everyone else.)