Diversity: Our Policy
GWB has diligently and deliberately worked to promote diversity throughout the firm in both its hiring and retention practices. The firm has dedicated itself to the principle that continued growth of its business is dependent on attracting and retaining highly-qualified diverse employees who understand and can relate to the diverse backgrounds of the clients and communities GWB serves. The firm’s commitment to diversity is reflected in its long established core values of:
The diversity of GWB’s attorneys and support staff ranges from visible differences such as color, nationality, gender, physical attributes, and age, to those that are less evident such as religion, culture, sexual orientation, perspective, personality, education, and socioeconomic background. The culture at GWB is devoted to incorporating diversity and providing access to leadership opportunities, conferences, workshops, and mentoring. The firm encourages and fosters the advancement of women and minorities within the firm.
In 2013, GWB was selected to receive the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) Law Firm Diversity Award. Established in 2002, the award is given annually by the DRI to a law firm that has shown exemplary progress and achievement in its diversity program. The award recipient must demonstrate a commitment to diversity which is evidenced by a formal diversity plan, sensitivity and receptivity to diversity issues, and promotion and advancement of minorities and women within the firm. The DRI Board of Directors states, “Gallivan, White and Boyd’s commitment to diversity is demonstrated not only through their policies and practices, but also by their many civic contributions.”
Jennifer E. Johnsen, a shareholder and former member of the firm’s Executive Committee, chairs GWB’s Diversity Committee. This committee is comprised of members representing all facets of the firm’s work force – associates, shareholders, administrative staff, and legal support personnel. Jennifer states, “The firm encourages and fosters the advancement of women and minorities within the firm. Simply stated, the individual characteristics and unique experiences of GWB’s employees make it more than a diverse law firm — they make GWB a smarter law firm better able to serve its clients and the community.” Additionally, Jennifer had an article entitled 5 Strategies for Promoting Diversity in the Workplace published in a regional business publication.
Jennifer and the Diversity Committee have worked hard to develop and take part in several impactful programs within the firm and the community that encourage diversity. Examples of these programs include:
- GWB is a founding member of the Diversity Recruitment Consortium, in which organizations work together to develop innovative programs, practices, and processes to increase the diversity of professional and executive talent in South Carolina based organizations.
- Participation in the South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative, presented by the Riley Institute at Furman University.
- Active leadership and participation in professional and community organizations, such as the Urban League, the United Way’s Leadership Affinity Groups for Women and African Americans, and the National Bar Association.
- Firm diversity awareness programs which feature guest speakers and leaders within the field of diversity.
- Internal “Sharing Our Story” articles that feature different members of the GWB team, highlighting what makes them unique and renewing dialogue among employees about diversity.
- Support of the National Bar Association, Black Law Students Association, South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, North Carolina Bar Association, and the ABA’s Women in Products Liability Committee.
The impact of these programs is evident in the firm’s current demographics. GWB is currently comprised of employees from 23 different states. The firm’s attorneys hail from every region of the country, attended 26 different undergraduate institutions, and 16 different law schools. Chief Executive Officer C. William McGee states, “Our diversity initiatives have been successful and produced results because we have enjoyed unwavering support from all of our employees. From our senior shareholders to our newest employees, everyone at GWB has embraced the belief that a diverse workforce makes us a stronger law firm that is better equipped to meet the needs of our clients.”