Baker McKenzie’s Diversity & Inclusion Week in Toronto ended on a high note Thursday evening as we hosted our 4th annual client diversity event in partnership with You Can Play.

The event brought Baker McKenzie partners, associates and management together with clients to celebrate Diversity & Inclusion in the work place while sharing ideas on how we can continue to break down walls and be leaders on issues of equality.

Managing Partner Kevin Coon welcomed guests and spoke of the Firm’s commitment to advancing D&I issues and of our partnership with You Can Play, an organization dedicated to ensuring equality among athletes regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Our new chair, Paul Rawlinson, has implemented diversity and inclusion into our strategic goals and objectives. As one of the largest global law firms, we decided it’s both the right thing to do and business imperative as to how we assist clients both in their local and global needs. It’s about embracing our strengths and tracking and retaining the best talent,” Kevin said.

“We believe the values of You Can Play align with those of Baker McKenzie and we are so pleased to partner with an organization that is on the ground working every day to make a difference with diversity and inclusion.”

Partner David Palumbo is co-chair of the organization and You Can Play co-founder Brian Kitts also attended and spoke of the proud partnership with Baker McKenzie.

The event drew support from the federal government as well with Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, addressing the event via video.

Several senior Firm members flew in for the D&I celebration, including Colin Murray, incoming North America Managing Partner; Gavin Gray, North America Regional Operating Officer; Anna Brown, North America Director of Diversity & Inclusion and our Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Karen Brown.

“In my work of leading diversity and inclusion in multiple organizations globally, I’ve always said, ‘When all is said and done, let more be done than said.’ And when I look at leaders and the industry of D&I, there’s a lot of talk but not a lot of action behind that,” Karen said, addressing the room. “I can tell you that Anna Brown, myself and the leadership team are privileged to work for a Firm where the leaders demonstrate their commitment to inclusion of all people through their actions.”

The evening capped a week filled with discussions around the Firm’s D&I initiatives, including Tuesday’s Student Roundtable sessions and various other events that gave both clients and internal staff the opportunity to meet senior members of the Firm and share ideas around thought leadership on D&I in the workplace and in the community.