The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a US-based benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to self-report their disability inclusion policies and practices. It was developed by two leading US organizations, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN, in consultation with the appointed DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of experts in business, policy, and disability advocacy.
“We are exceptionally proud to be recognized as an organization in which persons with disabilities can thrive professionally,” said Tamara Box, partner and Senior Management Team sponsor of the firm’s disability business inclusion group, LEADRS (Looking for the Excellence & Advancement of Persons with Disabilities at Reed Smith). “Although we acknowledge that there is a much work to be done both within our firm and across the legal sector, we are grateful to the DEI Advisory Committee for recognizing the strides we have taken to hire, retain, promote, and fully include persons with disabilities, and to help identify areas where we can improve further.”
The 2020 DEI benchmark measures six categories: Culture & Leadership; Enterprise-Wide Access; Employment Practices (Benefits, Recruitment, Employment, Education, Retention & Advancement, Accommodations); Community Engagement; Supplier Diversity; and Non-U.S. Operations.
Reed Smith is a disability-smart organization, and disability is an essential pillar of the firm’s diversity and inclusion program. LEADRS, alongside the firm’s Mental Health Task Force and Wellness program, supports and enhances the professional, personal, and career development of people with all types of disabilities – physical, mental, visible and non-visible, permanent and temporary – both at the firm and within the legal profession. Through its internal network, commitment to creating an accommodating workplace, and affiliations with organizations, law schools and clients whose values align with the firm’s, Reed Smith is determined to be the law firm of choice for persons with disabilities.