Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
White and Williams is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in our law firm and in the legal industry. In collaboration with our clients, industry service providers and other relationship partners, we strive to make a meaningful impact on the legal profession’s ability to reflect the diversity of the communities in which we live and work.
People choose to work at White and Williams because they want to be a part of an ethical, fair and professional work environment. White and Williams strives to recruit, maintain and elevate a workforce of highly motivated and diverse individuals, which enriches our firm and creates a culture of inclusion, respect and learning. This benefits our clients as we can draw on numerous viewpoints to offer valuable and innovative approaches to the matters we handle.
In January 2021, Partner Rochelle Gumapac was named the firm’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer. Rochelle works closely with firm management and committees to oversee, coordinate, continue and initiate programs to advance our DEI initiatives, including the development of educational programs, networking opportunities and community activities to cultivate a supportive and inclusive workplace. She is an advocate for increased DEI efforts within our clients’ organizations and communities. Rochelle strives to create cutting-edge and thought-provoking strategies to assist our firm, as well as some of the firm’s long-standing clients, to develop DEI programs to ensure that DEI goals are metrically achieved.
The Diversity Committee creates and implements additional strategies to ensure we develop and retain lawyers and staff of every race, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender and sexual orientation. In addition, the Women’s Initiative focuses its efforts on enhancing the professional and personal development of our women lawyers and to foster their success in the workplace. Both committees’ missions reflect our commitment to hiring and retaining employees who reflect our diverse and multicultural society.
Through our Summer Associate Program, we have been able to actively recruit and attract candidates that help us build our pipeline of diverse talent. We are a long-standing active participant in the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG), a non-profit consortium of law firms and legal departments in the Philadelphia region whose mission is to increase the diversity of the Philadelphia legal community. Through PDLG, we hire first-year and second-year law students as summer associates and assist in the training of the PDLG “Fellows.” The firm also participates in minority job fairs across the region.
Our lawyers have a long history of commitment and leadership at the bar and in other professional and community organizations that share the firm’s goal of increasing diversity in the legal profession, including:
- Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia
- Defense Research Institute Diversity and Inclusion Committee
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- Korean American Lawyers Association of New York
- Multi-Cultural Judges and Lawyers Section of the Delaware Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team
- Philadelphia LGBTQ Bar Association
- South Asian Bar Association
Training for staff, clients and professional associations is an integral part of our DEI efforts. Through these programs, we are able to facilitate open and honest dialogue about issues impacting the legal profession and our society. Some recent programming includes:
- "Recognizing, Understanding and Addressing Inclusion, Bias, and Building Trust Across Differences"
- "Implementing Diversity Initiatives in the Workplace: Best Practices, Legal Issues, and Pitfalls to Avoid"
- "Professional Development of Women and Diverse Candidates"