In order to be a successful company and a great place to work, Dell must leverage the similarities and differences of all team members. To achieve that goal and drive Dell’s people strategy, our leadership team promotes a number of diversity initiatives. We also try to influence similar behavior outside the company, including outside legal counsel representing Dell across a range of issues. To extend our efforts, we have launched the Dell Legal Diversity Award, which will recognize law firms that embrace diversity initiatives in their businesses.
Dell’s business activities intersect with multiple legal and regulatory requirements. We rely on many outside law firms to represent us in a variety of settings which frequently involve key customers and government agencies. These firms are an indispensable extension of our internal team; they serve as our ambassadors in front of critical external constituencies. The purpose of the annual Dell Legal Diversity Award is to drive our diversity and inclusiveness efforts into the broader legal profession, by encouraging Dell’s outside law firms to use diverse and innovative perspectives in their work on Dell legal matters and recognize those excelling in incorporating diversity into their cultures.
Beginning next year, we will evaluate how law firms representing Dell achieve those goals. Criteria for award applicants include diverse staffing on Dell matters, overall attorney demographics at the firm, leadership opportunities provided to diverse attorneys, engagement of diverse third-party firms and vendors, and the creation of an inclusive environment. We will celebrate outstanding achievements, and reward those firms with additional Dell projects. To launch this initiative, earlier this week, Fulbright & Jaworski was recognized for its longtime collaboration with Dell’s legal team in driving diversity programs affecting young diverse lawyers and law students beginning their careers. We announced this at an event attended by representatives of the Austin Asian American Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Texas Minority Counsel Program, Texas Women Lawyers, the State Bar of Texas Office of Minority Affairs, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Austin Black Lawyers Association, and the Austin LGBT Bar Association. Also present were dozens of diverse local law students who participate in a mentorship program sponsored by Dell Legal and Fulbright.
Dell is proud of its record on diversity and our recently released Fiscal Year 2011 corporate responsibility report reported a record investment of $3 billion with diverse businesses in 2010. The company has also been recognized for its efforts in promoting a diverse workplace and ranked among:
- DiversityInc.’s Top 50 Companies
- Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies, and
- Earned a perfect score Corporate Equality Index of the Human Rights Campaign for seventh consecutive year.
Dell is committed to continuing to strive for workplace diversity, and we are pleased to extend our efforts to our partners in the legal profession. We are excited about the new Dell award program. We believe it will further our message to the community that diversity matters at Dell Legal.