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E M P L O Y E R O F C H O I C E


ALTRIA GROUP LAW DEPARTMENT > Mid-Atlantic Region


C DENISE KEANE


onsistent eff ort and reevaluation are the keys to achiev- ing and maintaining


diversity in the workforce, according to Denise Keane, executive vice president and


general counsel of the Altria Group Inc. “Diversity is not achieved with just one initiative,”


Keane says. “It is not about percentages or numbers. It is a long-standing commitment to developing future leaders, creating opportunities, and driving the best pos- sible business outcomes for Altria and its companies. It is about being consistent, being disciplined, and continu- ously reassessing where we are and where we need to re-calibrate in order to achieve our goals.” Altria Group is the parent company of Philip Morris


USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, and John Middleton. Altria also owns Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. It has a continuing economic and voting interest in SABMiller. Keane says diversity “is clearly the right thing to do, but


our real passion behind it is the fact that it makes impor- tant business sense for our companies. “Having diverse perspectives, having diff erent voices


that help us counsel a series of clients across a challenging product line delivers the best service to the organization and ensures we both have the excellence that we think is critical in the Altria law department,” Keane adds. She explains that “as our companies have grown, it’s


been important to clearly defi ne these diversity expecta- tions. Today, I lead an internal legal team of nearly 150 people and work with more than 20 outside law fi rms. Our guidelines, our processes, our training and develop- ment, and our diversity committee keep us all moving toward the same diversity goals. “We make this all a part of our business strategy,”


Keane says. “It’s not an add-on or an extra. It’s part of everyday operations.” Altria formed a diversity committee to carry out diver-


sity goals and to assess results in the diversity arena. “T ey help us do benchmarking,” Keane explains. “T ey


help us look at new opportunities and strategies to make sure we’re constantly fresh in how we pursue diversity. “T e entire department is really proud to receive this


because it really has been a team eff ort,” Keane says. “I think the value of such an award is to keep interest and passion high around the goals of diversity.”


MCCA.COM MARSCHALL SMITH


3M LEGAL AFFAIRS > Midwest Region


W


ith the thousands of products and global sales of $27 billion last year,


3M has invented and manufac- tured products that are in nearly every home, business, and insti-


tution in the industrialized world. Its trademark brands include Scotch, Post-it, Filtrete, Nexcare, Scotchgard, T insulate, Vikuiti, and Command. To produce these goods requires a workforce of 75,000-plus people in 30 states and 65 countries. It also requires a global outlook, says Marschall Smith, senior vice president and general counsel at 3M Legal Aff airs. “We are a company that has survived and prospered


on being able to constantly produce new, innovative products into new markets,” Smith says. “We see the diversity of our employee base as the key to driving that innovation. We need diff erent ideas, diff erent approaches, diff erent views all coming together, and out of that, we drive the innovation that is vital to 3M’s sur- vival. We see diversity as the direct link to innovation. It is the right thing that we have people at the table, that we have people in the huddle, and, frankly, that we have people with chairs in the boardroom of all races and colors and creeds.” Forty-six of the 92 lawyers working for 3M Legal


Aff airs in the United States are women or lawyers of color. To fi nd and retain a diverse workforce, Smith says, “You need to cast a very broad net to send a message of inclusion to the potential employees, and you need to make them feel welcomed and included when they get here.” He says 3M Legal Aff airs has a mentoring program in


which most of the senior offi cers, including him, partici- pate. All new legal employees are assigned a mentor to provide specifi c advice on work and networking, as well as encouragement to help ensure retention. “T e only way you can measure it is to measure it,”


he says. “We have just put in place a fairly sophisticated system of metrics to evaluate the employment pools in the areas where we do hiring and to measure our perfor- mance in terms of the tracking, hiring, and keeping— because keeping is a big part of it. “We don’t see this as a process that will ever end, and


it’s a continuing event. T is is a nice reassurance along the way that we are doing the right thing.”


37


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 DIVERSITY & THE BAR®


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