June is Pride month; a celebration of the significant impact that LGBTQ+ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. And what better way to celebrate than by honouring these achievements.
Pride is a testament of the power that individuals have in bringing about social change and is also a reminder of the struggles and sacrifices that have, and continue to, take place for change to occur.
As part of Pride month, we will be hosting Kimahli Powell on June 22nd, to speak about his contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. Kimahli is the Executive Director at Rainbow Railroad, a not-for-profit that helps LGBTQ+ people who are experiencing persecution, harassment or violence in their home countries.
On June 21, we celebrate the heritage, cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. Now more than ever, it is incumbent on us all to reframe our worldview and honour Indigenous history and experiences in our province and across the country
Yadira Flores, J.D. and Myriah Graves spoke with Lindsay Griffiths about the impact of the pandemic pandemic on women, both generally and in the legal profession. To hear their perspectives tune into Episode 48 of the Law Firm ILN-telligence podcast.
Katherine Hensel was a guest speaker at the Law Society of Ontario’s International Women’s Day event where women leaders shared their experiences and barriers that they overcame to sustain their legal careers.
According to Katherine, who was one of ten featured speakers, “Senior counsel are obligated to address the challenges mothers face in the profession and call out any undue new barriers that make it even harder to carry out their legal practice.” To read the Law Times article, click here.
Foglers takes pride in recruiting, supporting, and fostering the careers of women lawyers.
In honour of International Women’s Day, weare thrilled to announce the creation of our women@foglers mentorship program, spearheaded by Teodora Prpa and Hailey Abramsky, two young and driven female lawyers at our firm.
women@foglers is an internal program designed to cultivate our firm’s female talent by maximizing career development through guidance, support and one-to-one mentoring.
In celebration of Black History Month, we had the pleasure of hosting a virtual event to hear and learn from the Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine, social justice advocate and the first African-Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons.
Everyone in attendance was inspired by her story and career, and her historic role in passing the landmark motion to designate February as Black History Month in Canada.
I’m listening. Keep talking. Four powerful words.
Today is #BellLetsTalk day, and this year’s campaign encourages everyone to keep listening, keep talking about mental health, and keep being there for each other.
Bell Let’s Talk Day is an important day to discuss and create awareness around mental health. This year our firm came together virtually to hear from Dr. David Goldbloom from CAMH, who talked about common misconceptions about mental illness and shared insights for supporting mental wellness.
Fogler Rubinoff (FR) supports the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) which require fairness and respect to all individuals.
We strive to ensure that each and every person in our workplace and professional environment is valued regardless of their race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age or any other protected ground under the Human Rights Code. We recognize that all forms of discrimination, including discrimination against women, racialized persons, Indigenous persons, LGBTQ2+ persons, persons with disabilities, and religious groups, must be eliminated. EDI is intrinsic to the character and reputation of our firm, of who we are, and who we strive to be.
To achieve these important goals we are committed to adopting EDI in all aspects of our firm culture. We strive to achieve EDI in hiring our staff and lawyers, in our relationships and daily interactions with the lawyers, staff, administration and clients of our firm, and in our dealings with other members of the legal profession.
We are also committed to eliminating systemic discrimination, promoting equality, and preventing harassment in all aspects of our firm culture and in our relationships with our staff, lawyers, clients, other members of the profession and the public at large. We understand that ending systemic discrimination and promoting equality is important to the health, safety and job satisfaction of everyone at our firm and to our success as a business and professional organization. We understand that this is not just a professional and legal obligation but also the right thing to do.
We are proud to publicly state the firm’s commitment to achieve measurable progress in EDI. To this end, we have created an EDI Committee to work on key areas that require attention and to review EDI action at our firm and create programs which teach and advance EDI principles for the entire firm.
EDI requires ongoing effort. The following is a summary of the principles we are committed to advancing and the initiatives we are working on to achieve them:
Fogler Rubinoff is committed to ensuring that our offices are accessible to our staff and the public both physically and emotionally. To ensure accountability respecting our commitment to EDI we:
- have in place procedures to respond to discriminatory behaviour toward our clients, lawyers or employees in professional or community settings and to hold members of our firm accountable for discriminatory behaviour; and
- conduct internal diversity surveys on an ongoing basis which are reviewed by the EDI Committee and acted upon as appropriate.
Respect and Understanding
FR understands that respect and understanding are crucial to our EDI initiatives. We are willing to learn and expand our knowledge and core beliefs regarding race, racism and all forms of discrimination. In order to foster respect and understanding we acknowledge that:
- anti-black racism and discrimination against women, racialized persons, Indigenous persons, religious groups, LGBTQ2+ persons and persons with disabilities exists and must be eliminated;
- women, racialized persons, Indigenous persons, LGBTQ2+ persons, persons of various religious backgrounds, and persons with disabilities encounter barriers in their careers.
Education is fundamental to our EDI policy. We acknowledge that EDI education is essential to serving our clients and to fostering an open and inclusive firm environment. FR is committed to educating members of the firm on concepts such as anti-racism, anti-oppression, and unconscious bias, in order to better work with and serve all members of our community. Our educational initiatives include:
- ongoing EDI training for all firm members focusing on anti-racism, discrimination, anti-oppression, and unconscious bias;
- offering and maintaining firm resources on anti-racism, equity, intersectionality, privilege, equality, inclusion, diversity, anti-oppression, unconscious bias, and anti-discrimination;
- maintaining an EDI page on our website;
- publishing a quarterly EDI newsletter to all firm members encouraging participation and learning about EDI issues;and
- reviewing this EDI policy annually and updating it as required.
FR is committed to creating an inclusive workplace which includes:
- supporting outreach programs and public associations which promote equality and inclusion;
- establishing safe avenues within FR to report and address non-inclusive behaviour and gaps in inclusion;
- encouraging positive recognition of diversity and differences to ensure all members of the firm feel safe, valued and welcomed; and
- facilitating access to learning and development opportunities with regard to inclusivity.
FR believes that valuing and enhancing diversity and inclusion will help us attract and retain the best talent and better serve our clients. We are committed to creating a diverse workplace that reflects the community in which we live. Our goal is to attract, develop, and advance people of all backgrounds and genders. For this purpose FR has engaged in initiatives to:
- ensure that everyone involved in firm interviewing and recruitment processes is well versed on our diversity and inclusion policy;
- provide ongoing education and training to identify and address unconscious biases that may impact our hiring process; and
- attract and recruit a diverse group of candidates.
Advancement/Equality of Opportunity/Retention
FR recognizes that women, racialized persons, Indigenous persons, LGBTQ2+ persons, persons of various religious backgrounds, and persons with disabilities often face barriers and challenges that impact their ability to reach their potential. FR is committed to ensuring all members of the firm have equal opportunities to participate, gain experience, and excel. We recognize that this is for the betterment of our firm and society in general. FR is committed to ensuring that:
- all members of the firm have an equal opportunity to work, succeed, advance, and excel as professionals;
- our staff and lawyers are mentored by individuals who can assist them in their professional and personal development and growth; and
- all firm members are given clear expectations as to performance, accommodations, promotions, and advancement, through an effective performance review process which takes EDI principles into consideration.
 By using LGBTQ2+ we intend to include all groups which identify with this acronym. We are committed to being as inclusive as possible.
September 30, 2021 marks Canada’s first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
On this day of reflection, our lawyers and staff came together to hear from Chief Laurie Carr of Hiawatha First Nation, who spoke to us about the injustices that occurred at Residential Schools, the 60s Scoop and the present-day MMIWG.
Today, we encourage everyone to take the time to reflect, learn and have meaningful conversations about the harm committed against Indigenous Peoples.
Despite our best intentions, research shows we all have it – unconscious, unintentional bias. Unconscious attitudes and beliefs are shaped by all kinds of influences – some of which we would not agree with or accept on a conscious level.
Yet, these unconscious thoughts influence decision-making and can have a profound impact in the workplace on talent management decisions, including recruiting and hiring. The key is to learn how to recognize your own unconscious biases as well as practical ways to interrupt them.
In this interactive DE&I leadership workshop, guest speaker Kathleen Nalty lead lawyers and staff through the following concepts:
- Unconscious bias – how it is formed
- Implicit cognitive biases and how to interrupt them
- 10 hidden barriers that cause higher attrition rates for attorneys in underrepresented groups
- How to recognize implicit bias in ourselves
- Specific research-based strategies for interrupting or mitigating individual biases
- What law firms are doing to fight bias at an organizational level
- Inclusion nudges and bias interrupters
- Specific changes in recruiting and hiring processes to interrupt bias
- Cognitive biases that are implicated in hybrid work models and how they can be addressed
- Development of personal action plans to interrupt implicit bias