Inclusion Initiative Companies Spend More than $1 Billion on Minority- and Women-Owned Law Firms

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Inclusion Initiative, a collaborative program among law departments
at major corporations across the country, announced today that member
companies have spent more than $1 Billion over the past six years with
minority- and women-owned (MWBE) law firms.


“When the Inclusion Initiative was launched in 2010, we hoped we would
have a significant positive impact on MWBE law firms across the
country,” said Rick Meade, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for
International Businesses at Prudential Financial, Inc. and Chairperson
of the Inclusion Initiative. “To have reached such a substantial spend
level in just six years testifies to the collective dedication and
commitment of the participating companies to diversity and inclusion in
the legal profession; as well as to the quality of the service being
provided by the many MWBE law firms that are doing our work. We are
extremely proud to reach this important milestone and look forward to
doing even more.”

Six years ago, the law departments at 11 large corporations spanning
various industries launched the Inclusion Initiative to help increase
diversity in the legal profession. At the heart of the Initiative is the
belief that MWBE firms play a vital role in providing opportunity to
diverse attorneys, and excellent, cost effective legal services that
meet the needs of Corporate America. Inclusion Initiative members
believe that MWBE firms provide a reliable pathway into the legal
profession for law students and young lawyers of diverse backgrounds and
an alternative career path for experienced diverse attorneys who seek an
alternative to majority owned law firms.

Participation in the Inclusion Initiative has nearly tripled to 31
members since its founding in 2010. The current roster of participating
companies includes: 3M, Accenture, Aetna, Allstate, American Airlines,
AT&T, Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, Comcast, Exelon, Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation, General Mills, GlaxoSmithKline, Google,
JPMorgan Chase, McDonald’s Corporation, Macy’s, Merck, Microsoft, Morgan
Stanley, Nationwide, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Prudential
Financial Inc., Sempra Energy, Shell Oil Company, UPS, Verizon, Walmart,
Wells Fargo, and Xerox. Most recently, the Inclusion Initiative welcomed
NBCUniversal to its ranks in 2016.

In the initial year of the Inclusion Initiative, members together spent
$42 million with MWBE law firms. Since then, the total amount of money
participating law departments have spent on MWBE firms has grown
significantly and exceeded $200 million in 2015 for the third year in a
row as illustrated in the chart.

“At Accenture, inclusion and diversity are fundamental to our culture
and embedded in our core values,” said Chad Jerdee, General Counsel and
Chief Compliance Officer at Accenture. “We have long been committed to
providing opportunities to diverse businesses. Together with the
Inclusion Initiative member companies, we are proud to have reached this
significant milestone of spending $1 billion with minority- and
women-owned law firms.”

The Inclusion Initiative is administered by the National Association of
Minority and Women Owned Law firms (NAMWOLF), which comprises 155
certified MWBE law firms in 34 states. “We could not be more thrilled
with the continuing success of the Inclusion Initiative. Breaking the $1
Billion threshold in just six years is something we all can be proud
of,” said Carla Fields Johnson, Inclusion Initiative Task Force Co-Chair
for NAMWOLF. “Each year participating corporate law departments have set
and achieved aggressive goals for utilizing minority- and women-owned
law firms. NAMWOLF is excited about the future of the Inclusion
Initiative and its ability to shape a more inclusive legal environment
through encouraging collaboration with minority and women owned law
firms.”

Contacts

For Inclusion Initiative
Karen Moore,
973-802-8533
karen.moore@prudential.com
@KFMooreprupr
or
For
NAMWOLF

Joel Stern, 312.733.7780
joel_stern@namwolf.org
@NAMWOLF