Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is a leading business law firm with clients based in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. The firm employs more than 400 lawyers and 650 administrative and managerial staff working together across offices in Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver and New York. The firm is known for providing innovative and solution-oriented advice in commercial matters, transactions and litigation for some of the world’s largest enterprises and for top emerging startups and mid-size companies.
Douglas Rienzo, Chair of Osler’s Diversity Committee, shares what drives the firm to advance its diversity and inclusion program and why they chose to become a partner in TRIEC Mentoring Partnership.
Osler makes its office culture a priority
“We continuously strive to build a firm that reflects diversity. Not only does it help attract staff and lawyers who are the best at what they do, but it also allows us to better connect with the communities in which we work. Our Diversity Committee works hard to move initiatives forward, be it developing and implementing firm policies, or partnering with programs like TRIEC Mentoring Partnership. We are thrilled to count this program amongst our activities, as it is a great way to connect our Osler community with the TRIEC community.
“Looking at our firm, Osler’s culture is one that celebrates diverse viewpoints and backgrounds. We recognize that welcoming individuals from across the world enables us to benefit from diversity in ideas and perspectives. We firmly believe that welcoming and helping to integrate new Canadians is beneficial not only for Canadian workplaces but also for Canadian society as a whole.
“We were one of the first law firms in Canada to undertake a demographic survey. In 2012, the voluntary, confidential survey asked staff and lawyers to provide information on their gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, and other characteristics.
“The Osler team felt strongly that without a measure of where we were in terms of diversity and inclusion, we wouldn’t be able to move forward in a meaningful way. We’ve repeated the survey every other year, with their latest one happening in the summer of 2018. By tracking our progress over the years, we are able to gauge the success of our various diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“Our goal is, as much as possible, to have our workforce reflect the very diverse communities where we work.”
Osler learned about TRIEC Mentoring Partnership through an employee of the firm
“It was through Harshal Dalal, a member of the Osler team and long-time mentor with TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, that Osler’s Diversity Committee learned about TRIEC Mentoring Partnership. After getting more information about the program, the committee agreed that it would be a rewarding opportunity for both staff and legal professionals.
“It’s a great way to connect with our communities, share knowledge and insights about the Canadian job market, and help others succeed. It is inspiring to hear the stories from Osler firm members who have volunteered to be mentors, as many of them can relate to the experience of the mentees, either personally or through their networks.
“We also support mentoring as a pathway for employees to develop their leadership and communication skills, while hopefully learning something about themselves in the process.”
If your organization is thinking about joining TRIEC Mentoring Partnership – “Just do it!”
“The feedback we’ve received is that TRIEC Mentoring Partnership is a very worthwhile initiative to implement within the organization, and we’ve already heard from people who want to become mentors in the next session. We’ve had interest from a variety of staff and legal professionals at the firm – from partners and executives to administrative staff across departments – the program speaks to many people who want to help others.”
Osler is taking strides to become a leader and champion in their industry. Find out more about what drives the firm to achieve their diversity and inclusion goals. Connect with them on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular updates.
At TRIEC we’re proud to have them join the TRIEC Mentoring Partnership as an employer partner. Find out how you can bring your organization on-board as an employer partner – or join as a mentor yourself.