equity and diversity
McMillan is committed to promoting equity and diversity in the workplace and in the profession. McMillan has actively promoted these objectives through the leadership of its Professional Services Committee (PSC), progressive firm policies and participation by the firm and its members in various organizations.
within the firm
recruitment: McMillan has adopted proactive recruitment strategies which are non-discriminatory, both directly and systemically, and which encourage the hiring of diverse talents. McMillan's PSC, comprised of lawyers from all offices, oversees all recruitment activities to ensure these objectives are met.
advancement: Each associate has a formal mentor pursuant to McMillan's Mentoring Policy which, among other things, aims to address any barriers to advancement, and provide support to the associate to develop and build their profile within the legal community. Further, the PSC reviews all associate assessments, feedback and performance objectives to ensure that associates are evaluated and advanced based on merit, free from bias or discrimination.
McMillan has established internal policies and practices intended to provide equal opportunity and foster a workplace free of discrimination, including a progressive Alternative Work Arrangement Policy, a generous Maternity and Parental Leave Policy and an Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy.
firm environment: McMillan implemented a firm-wide consultation process to design and announce core Firm Values and related behaviours which reflect a firm consensus on fostering a positive, diverse and productive work environment. These values are: Respect, Teamwork, Commitment, Client Service and Professional Excellence. In identifying the first firm value of "Respect", McMillan has set an expectation that all firm members are committed to maintaining a work environment where individuals will be supported and treated with respect and dignity regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, seniority or position.
within the legal community
McMillan is active in supporting events and conferences in the legal community that promote diversity and inclusion of equity-seeking individuals. Recent examples include:
LSUC Justicia Project: McMillan continues to support the LSUC Justicia Project, the aim of which is to remove barriers affecting women in law, with a focus on retention, reintegration after leaves, business/professional development and advancement.
Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL): CABL is a national association of lawyers, judges, academics and law students dedicated to identifying and addressing the professional needs, objectives and goals of black legal professionals and black law students. McMillan has member lawyers who have served as mentors to law students through the Black Law Students' Association of Canada mentorship program. In September 2010, one of our partners, Kathy Martin, was honoured at an event hosted by CABL for being one of eighteen black partners at law firms on Bay Street.
Canadian Lawyers Abroad Dare to Dream Program: McMillan is a proud sponsor of and participant in the Dare to Dream program, which supports and inspires Aboriginal youth to achieve their full potential. McMillan has partnered with Canadian Lawyers Abroad to provide meaningful opportunities for Aboriginal students to interact with lawyers who may serve as role models and mentors and help participating students establish skills that will help them succeed and prosper.
South Asian Bar Association (SABA): SABA is an organization comprised of lawyers, judges, academics and law students, which is dedicated to promoting and supporting South Asian members of the legal profession. Several of McMillan lawyers are members of SABA and have participated in a number of activities and events to foster advancement within the South Asian community including mentoring and networking within the community. McMillan is a supporter of SABA and has hosted SABA events at the firm and is a sponsor of the SABA Annual Gala.
Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL): FACL was founded in Toronto as an organization of Asian Canadian legal professionals, founded on the primary goals of promoting equity, justice and opportunity for Asian Canadians in both the legal profession and the wider community. FACL is an affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association ("NAPABA"), an organization of over 40,000 attorneys. McMillan was a proud Platinum Sponsor of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers Annual Fall Conference (2011) which Lai King-Hum co-chaired, and where she presented on Social Media and Privacy Law. McMillan also sponsored the 2012 FACL Gala. Lai is a current board member, and is once again co-chair of the Annual Fall Conference (2012).
Out on Bay Street: McMillan is a proud supporter of Out on Bay Street, an organization dedicated to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQA) undergraduate and graduate students, and raising awareness within the business and legal community.
LAWS Project: LAWS is a partnership between the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and the Toronto District School Board to provide education about the law and support to high school students from inner city schools. McMillan is an active supporter and participant in LAWS and recently hosted a group of high school students at the firm to educate them on the various paths to law and what life is like practising at a corporate law firm.
LEAF Persons' Day Breakfast: McMillan is proud to be an ongoing sponsor of the annual Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) Persons' Day Breakfast. One of the firm's founding partners, Newton Rowell, was instrumental in the victory of the "Persons Case" in 1928; Rowell represented Judge Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards all the way to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain which decided that women were "persons" within the meaning of the British North America Act and so could be appointed to the Canadian Senate. Rowell's granddaughter, Nancy Ruth, was one of the founding members of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund.
Pro-Bono: McMillan is actively involved in providing pro-bono services to support individuals and communities in need.
McMillan has partnered with the Maytree Foundation that aims to reduce systemic poverty and promote diversity and equality in Canada, particularly in leadership roles. Within its Maytree involvement, McMillan has provided pro bono work to:
Working Women Community Centre, aims to provide immigrant and refugee women and their families with opportunities to improve the quality of their lives through self-development and community action, and
Dixon Hall, a multi-service agency that serves one of the country's most diverse communities, runs dozens of facilities and programs throughout Toronto, including shelters, youth and elderly persons' centres and programs, camps and supported housing.