Cadwalader Sponsors Inaugural Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative Symposium on Diversity & Inclusion

November 20, 2014

Managing Partner-elect Pat Quinn Discusses Cadwalader’s Efforts to Attract and Retain Diverse Attorneys

New York, November 20, 2014—Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, a leading counselor to global financial institutions and corporations, yesterday sponsored the inaugural Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI) Symposium. The symposium, founded by legendary sports icon and human rights advocate Billie Jean King, convened leaders in sports, business and government to discuss diversity in the workplace, exchange ideas and propose solutions to the shortage of diversity in positions of leadership.

The sponsorship builds on Cadwalader’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workforce, and is part of a series of initiatives the Firm has launched to diversify and develop its talent base. Earlier this year, the Firm launched the Cadwalader Center for Diversity & Inclusion, which serves as a central resource for the Firm’s diversity programs. 

In keynote remarks at the symposium, Cadwalader Managing Partner-elect Pat Quinn stressed that diversity in the workplace is not only socially responsible, but a business imperative: “Diverse teams just work better. The business environment in which our clients operate gets more complicated by the day. With regulatory pressures and competition increasing constantly, our clients need the highest level of creativity and problem solving now more than ever.”

Quinn also stated in his remarks that “in order for Cadwalader to continue to win mandates from our clients and to do our best work on their behalf, we need to reflect changing demographic trends.”  Quinn’s remarks referred to research by the Center for American Progress, which states that if the current trends in population growth continue, by the year 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the United States. By some estimates, by the year 2020 the American workforce will be more than 50 percent women.

Leaders in attendance at the symposium included Billie Jean King, New England Patriots Owner Jonathan Kraft, NBA star Jason Collins, Paley Center for Media President Pat Mitchell, Goldman Sachs Global Co-Head of Securities Pablo Salame and Daniel Nigro, New York City Fire Commissioner.

Quinn challenged other leaders in the room to make diversity a priority in their organizations.  He closed his remarks by stating: “we strive to be so successful that one day we make the need for diversity programs obsolete.”

The symposium was followed by a gala honoring Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, and Gracia Martore, President and CEO of Gannett.

Cadwalader’s efforts to enhance its workforce diversity have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC): earlier this year Cadwalader achieved a perfect score of 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index, and it also was recognized by HRC as one of “America’s Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” for a second consecutive year. Cadwalader has also been named among the “Top Corporate Allies for Diversity” by Difference Matters Magazine.