WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) is again urging Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP to pull back their boastful claims of diversity and inclusion through a full-page print ad in the Dover Post, as their most recent partner class mostly excludes historically marginalized communities.
While a glance at Skadden’s partner class of 2022 may appear to be diverse, a closer look into the law firms’ diversity claims and numbers tells a grotesquely different story. Skadden has prominently displayed its admiration for diversity, claiming that “diversity, equity, and inclusion” are fundamental to their success and even promoting that they are “among the firms with the highest representation of Black attorneys.” Out of Skadden’s 114 partners, just two are African American, and out of 11 partners in Skadden’s Wilmington office, zero are African-American. Their partner class shows a comprehensive lack of representation among African Americans, American Indian and Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanic persons. Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton has demanded that Skadden ensure that judges and lawyers in our courts reflect the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the communities they represent.
Said Reverend Al Sharpton, “Skadden Arps claims that ‘diversity and inclusion are fundamental to Skadden’s success as a global law firm,’ but the firm’s stunningly low levels of diversity tell a different story. How can we achieve an equitable justice system if people of color aren’t afforded the opportunity to work at the most prestigious law firms? How can we expect the judges in our courts to reflect the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the communities they represent if they do not gain the experience needed to rise to those positions?”
When compared to other law firms’ demographic data, Skadden does not rank amongst the most diverse, as they claim. Skadden’s numbers are unimpressive when placed next to firms like Morrison & Foerster, the leading firm for Black attorneys. A 2021 Law Firm Diversity Survey by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association states that the “legal industry has long known that it lacks diverse racial and ethnic representation, particularly at the partner level.” It is not enough for elite firms to “talk the talk” on diversity – they need to “walk the walk” and hire more diverse voices, and also be transparent about their retention efforts of said hires. Skadden has failed to do both. CPBD has published an ad campaign to urge reconsideration of Skadden's boastful claims of success in diverse representation.
Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey, “Boasting about diverse hires does not award companies a gold medal. Diverse hires are not trophies. Diverse voices are people that exist beyond a company’s goal to put themselves on a pedestal for change. Diverse voices deserve equity, truth, and justice. Companies and organizations cloak themselves with diversity messaging and marketing without considering their anti-racist actions, making the efforts disingenuous and further perpetuating racism and racial inequality.”
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 5,000 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as concerned Delaware residents, business executives and others. They formed in April of 2016 to focus on raising awareness with Delaware residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the unprecedented forced sale of TransPerfect. While their primary goal of saving the company has been accomplished, they continue their efforts to fight for more transparency in the Delaware Chancery Court. For more information on Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware or to join the cause, visit DelawareForBusiness.org.