This month, we highlight Amy Jenkins, an employment law attorney located in the firm’s Charleston office and chair of the diversity and inclusion committee, Belong @ MGC.
According to NALP’s 2018 Report on Diversity in US Law Firms, growth is steady, but slow, in developing the presence of minorities in the partner ranks. The biggest challenge? Retention of diverse employees.
“Retention of women and minorities can be a challenge if they do not feel included and do not see a path upward in the organization that is unimpeded by the glass ceiling,” says Amy Jenkins, the focus of this month’s diversity and inclusion spotlight. “Law firms, like other types of organizations, need to work to identify and remove hidden barriers that, even if unintentional, can disrupt the career ascension of diverse employees.”
Amy Jenkins, in addition to practicing employment law for the last 25+ years, has recently become a pivotal force behind Belong @ MGC. As chair, she leads the committee in the firm’s efforts to foster a more diverse and welcoming environment. “We must take steps to make all of our employees feel included and supported. Our vision statement makes that clear.”
Belong @ MGC launched in early 2019 with the goal of fostering a firm culture where talented individuals from all backgrounds and experiences are recruited, empowered, included, respected and rewarded. “I want us to successfully show people within the firm and outside the firm that they can belong here and succeed here,” Jenkins adds.
With Belong @ MGC in its beginning stages, where does the committee go from here? “We promote and support diversity because it makes us a better organization and makes each of us better lawyers and employees,” says Jenkins. “I am hopeful that as we spread awareness and cultivate more programs designed to achieve greater diversity and inclusion, we can track and demonstrate measurable success.”