inclusion and diversity

McMillan is committed to promoting inclusion 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 Flexible 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.

women's initiative

McMillan established its Women's Initiative, lead by a committee of nine members from its offices across Canada and chaired by one of its partners, Margaret McNee, to ensure that systemic barriers to the retention and advancement of women lawyers are proactively addressed. The Women's Initiative encourages and supports women lawyers in developing and enhancing client relationships, growing their practices, establishing mentor relationships, creating internal and external networking opportunities and promoting leadership and innovation in women's professional development. The Women's Initiative provides strategic training, networking opportunities and marketing initiatives to women lawyers to achieve these objectives.

within the legal community

McMillan was a founding member of the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network and was actively involved in the development on the Network's "Statement of Principles". Law firms in the Network aim to share ideas and work together to promote diversity and encourage a culture of inclusion in their firms and the legal professional generally, to attract and retain the best talent, and best serve their clients.


In addition, McMillan is active in supporting events and conferences in the legal community that promote diversity and inclusion of equity-seeking individuals. Recent examples include:

Justicia Project

McMillan supports the respective Justicia projects of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Law Society of British Columbia and the Barreau du Québec. The aim of these initiatives is to remove barriers affecting women in law, with a focus on retention, reintegration after leaves, business/professional development and advancement.

Canadian Association of Blacks 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

The Canadian Lawyers Abroad "Dare to Dream" Project is an initiative that supports and empowers Aboriginal high school students and their families, helps them achieve their dreams and contribute to their communities. It is also designed to promote diversity in the legal profession and foster a greater understanding of Aboriginal culture and issues. McMillan is a proud sponsor of and contributor to this unique program, which includes McMillan lawyers participating in outreach and mentoring activities with Aboriginal youth.

North American South Asian Bar Association, including local chapters (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. McMillan is a supporter of SABA and has hosted SABA events at the firm and is a sponsor of the SABA Annual Gala.

Out on Bay Street 

McMillan is a proud sponsor and 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.