PITTSBURGH – In furtherance of its industry-leading diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative, Reed Smith is launching its Leadership Development Program (LDP), providing additional staffing, programming and funding to cultivate and build the firm’s diverse talent pipeline.

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A groundbreaking program by any measure, the LDP is centered on the premise that mitigating bias and creating equitable opportunities requires intentionality and commitment. To that end, the LDP strives to increase retention, internal hiring and promotion of the firm’s diverse talent while also increasing meaningful sponsorship opportunities. The program will also facilitate mutually beneficial outcomes for the firm, its attorneys, and professional staff members while improving work allocation and increasing visibility for program participants.

To achieve these goals, program participants will over the course of nine months attend professional development workshops featuring both internal and external speakers. Participants will also receive individualized support, including financial support for conferences and memberships in professional associations. Moreover, all participants are eligible to receive private one-on-one executive or group coaching, and a subset of participants have been paired with firm leaders across various practice groups and departments in sponsorship relationships.

The program is available to U.S.-based attorneys and professional staff who have been active members of one or more of the firm’s business inclusion groups for at least one year.

“The DE&I Leadership Development Program provides our diverse attorneys and professional staff with opportunities to increase their exposure, experience, and expertise,” said Casey Ryan, Reed Smith’s global head of legal personnel. “This commitment is in line with our core values and our commitment to investing in our talent.”

Implementation of the LDP will be led by Kendrea Tannis, DE&I executive/career coach, and Erin Wilkins, DE&I talent development analyst. Tannis’ role includes, among other responsibilities, conducting private one-on-one coaching sessions with eligible program participants and facilitating group coaching sessions covering a broad range of topics. Wilkins will be responsible for spearheading the LDP application process and coordinating learning and development opportunities for participants in the program. Iveliz R. Crespo, global DE&I advisor and program architect, will serve as project manager and oversee the ongoing development and administration of the program.