In response to the racial justice movement in the United States in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, the IPMA Board of Directors established an Advisory Board to focus on diversity and inclusion ("D&I") and tasked the Advisory Board to make recommendations to the Board of Directors on how to frame this important conversation within our organization. Some of the key recommendations included the following:
The Board approved the following Diversity Statement:
We celebrate our diversity and understand that to be silent is to be complicit. We are an organization who puts people first. We will continue to come together - to listen, learn and act in support of our communities against racism and for human rights
The Board reviewed and updated the Mission Statement as follows:
The International Practice Management Association (IPMA) is the primary source of information and education for managers in law firms, corporations, and law departments. We provide an inclusive community that promotes and enhances the proficiency and professionalism of our members. We deliver practical resources and cutting-edge solutions on the value and management of professionals in the legal environment.
In addition, the Board recommended transitioning the D&I Advisory Board into a standing committee. All members of the current D&I Advisory Board should be founding members of the Committee to provide continuity but additional members should be encouraged to join. The D&I Committee should be comprised of IPMA members from all regions of the U.S. and Canada and consist of regular and associate members.
To see the Final Report to the Board of Directors from IPMA's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, click here.
In August 2022, IPMA’s Board of Directors voted unanimous approval to change the name of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (“DEI”) Committee. You may ask why was this change necessary and why should this be important to me as a member of the International Practice Management Association? In short, diversity and inclusion simply do not work without equity. Why is equity important? Equity means identifying inequitable systems, course-correcting, and building equitable systems that are designed to work equally for everyone. The tools and resources needed to build an equitable system must also be identified and utilized to provide the same opportunities for everyone, regardless of identity. Equity is a necessary component to ensure measurable success in diversity and inclusion initiatives. Click here to read the article about the Importance of DEI.
As members of IPMA, we are connected to an international population of legal professionals from a myriad of races, ethnicities, religions, cultures, social identities, generations, gender identities, and differently abled status. Our goal is to create an equitable and inclusive environment where everyone is afforded the same educational and leadership opportunities to develop professionally, and to volunteer for leadership roles with support from our peers. It is important that everyone feels seen and heard and is welcome to share their ideas, impressions, and viewpoints when volunteering, attending or chairing chapter meetings, committees, and other events, or seeking a seat on the Board.
If you are in search of DEI resources, visit our resource page here.