2010 ALLIES Learning Exchange: Michael Schafler - Employer Engagement

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  • 1. 2010 ALLIES Learning Exchange Putting Ideas into Action The Frontlines of Employer Engagement Fraser Milner Casgrain’s Perspective Michael D. Schafler Partner, Toronto
  • 2. Our Profile • One of Canada’s leading business and litigation law firms • More than 1400 members of FMC, including more than 500 lawyers • Six full-service offices located in the country’s key business centres • Our focus: – We strive to excel as a workplace of choice for our people – Our professionals possess knowledge and expertise on regional, national and cross-border matters, regardless of where you choose to do business in Canada – Consistently deliver the highest quality legal services and counsel to our clients – An ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusiveness to broaden our insight and perspective on our clients’ needs
  • 3. FMC and TRIEC • In furtherance of its Diversity and Inclusiveness Initiative, FMC was the first law firm to become a corporate partner in TRIEC’s Mentoring Partnership Program in 2008
  • 4. Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) • TRIEC's Mentoring Partnership program pairs skilled immigrants with established Canadian professionals in a mentoring relationship designed to break down the barriers immigrants face when trying to enter the Canadian labour market • FMC is the first law firm to be recognized as a corporate partner of TRIEC • Mentoring skilled immigrants is the guiding force behind FMC’s commitment to fostering a diverse work culture without barriers, something to which many of our clients are very sensitive • FMC’s relationship and experience with TRIEC laid the groundwork for our participation in the mentoring program • Through TRIEC, we have hired a number of skilled immigrants in various departments throughout our firm • Currently, more than 20 FMC members participate in TRIEC’s mentoring program for skilled immigrants – close to 50 matches since we started in 2008
  • 5. Why? • Our business required it • Our clients are largely engaged in diversity initiatives, and require their legal service providers to do so, too • Key stakeholders understand the value that skilled immigrants bring to the table • The “bonus” – it is the right thing to do
  • 6. 2010 • FMC was honoured by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) with the CBC Toronto Vision Award for Immigrant Inclusion, one of TRIEC’s Immigrant Success (IS) Awards. FMC received this award in recognition of its innovative Legal Professional Internship Program.
  • 7. 2009 and 2010 • FMC was named one of Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians. – a special designation that recognizes the nation's best employers for recent immigrants – winning employers offer programs to assist new Canadians in making the transition to a new workplace and a new life in Canada – it is our belief that the award was given, in part, as a result of FMC’s pioneering work in the legal community with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) Mentorship Program and with FMC’s Legal Professional Internship Program
  • 8. November 2009 • Michael Schafler, a partner in our litigation practice, was recognized for his contributions to the TRIEC Mentoring Program and was awarded a TRIEC Special Achievement Mentoring Partnership Award. April 2009 • Chia-yi Chua, a partner in our tax practice, was honoured as one of the country’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants by Canadian Immigrant Magazine as part of their Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Awards of 2009. Chia-yi was selected from among 75 short-listed finalists selected by a panel of judges.
  • 9. How? • Business Strategy – formulate and execute • People – “champion” • Institutionalize – create a “program”, members, administrators, TRIEC interface • Publish – email, information seminars, success stories, awards • Reward – incent your people to align their behaviour with the business plan
  • 10. “Champion” – A person who advances the cause – Need “top down” support (CEO, Managing Partner) – Should be senior enough to have some influence on others – Must be committed, determined and motivational
  • 11. Our Strategy: Diversity and Inclusiveness • Developed in 2006 with representatives on a national Committee from each of our six offices across the country (Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver) • Mandated to ensure that all members of FMC have the opportunity to develop their unique talents to nurture their ongoing success • We work with our team members to recognize and address individual beliefs, challenges and lifestyles in our work environment • We strive to foster an environment where everyone respects, supports and learns from each other’s skills, talents and differences
  • 12. Other Diversity Program Highlights FMC Legal Professional Internship • As the first program of its kind in Canada, FMC established this six- month paid internship to help an internationally trained lawyer become qualified to practise law in Canada • Help bridge the gap and provide hands-on experience for new foreign-trained lawyers seeking Canadian professional employment • Our goal is to help launch candidates’ Canadian legal careers by providing them with valuable knowledge, skills and experience to allow them to successfully transition to a professional career in the law in Canada Toronto Community Housing Corporation • FMC Partnering regarding Scadding Court Diversity Scholarship (effective May 2010)
  • 13. Diversity Program Highlights Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) • FMC sponsors the BBPA national scholarship for black law students – a $5,000 annual renewable scholarship awarded to a black law student who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, commitment to diversity, and financial need A Call to Action Canada: Diversity in the Legal Profession • FMC is a sponsor of the Diversity in the Legal Profession Summit Event, an initiative to promote diversity in the legal profession by challenging corporate law departments to leverage their law firm relationships to promote diversity in the profession Pro Pride at Work Canada • Co-founding Corporate Partner of Pro Pride at Work Canada, a professional organization created to support the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community at work
  • 14. The Value of Initiatives Like TRIEC? The above represents a list of active Corporate Partners in 2009 The above represents a list of active Corporate Partners in 2009