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hen attorneys for the Law Division of Massachusetts

Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) attend diversity events, they know their man-

date is to mingle, not to stand around talking to each other. Every attorney in the division must attend at least one event a year, and the mission is to fan out to meet attorneys with diverse backgrounds, according to Mark Roellig, executive vice president and general counsel for MassMutual. “Now they know we are all dispersing throughout the

crowd to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise meet, and you walk away with a stack of business cards,” Roellig says. More importantly, he follows up afterward with an

email acknowledging the encounter. “I like to reach out before they reach out,” he says. MassMutual maintains a database of the attorneys its

staff meets at the various diversity events, and sends them notices and requests for candidates when it has openings for attorneys or paralegals. A leading mutual-life insurance company headquartered

in Springfi eld, Mass., MassMutual off ers fi nancial products, including life, disability, and long-term care insurances, as well as annuities and retirement/401(k) plan services. Roellig says MassMutual views diversity as “critical to

the success of the fi rm and critical to the success of the law department. “It’s all about talent,” he explains. “T e talent base in

the country is changing. Fifty-eight percent of undergrads are women, and by the year 2042 whites will be a minor- ity in the country, [a trend] never to be reversed. If we want talent, we have to look at a diverse group. Just as our pool of talent is changing, our customers and suppliers are becoming more diverse and are more diverse.” To understand their needs, he says, MassMutual has to

refl ect the same kind of diversity. Beyond the demographic reasons, however, are business

imperatives, the general counsel adds. “Diversity and inclusion make for better results and

reduce risks,” he explains. “T e more diff erent ideas, approaches, and strategies you have, the better the decision at the end. Diversity is necessary to get you your results.” He noted that 47 percent of the division’s attorneys are

women, 14 percent are people of color, and 10 percent are openly gay or lesbian, and that of the last 10 hires, 7 were female, and 4 were people of color.


PG&E LAW DEPARTMENT > Western Region


ith 15 million customers in one of the most diverse population

areas in the nation, Pacifi c Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) faces challenges daily that drive home

the need for a workforce that understands its clientele. “When we make decisions, we need to be conscious of

the fact that our customers in Bakersfi eld or in Fresno might react very diff erently than our customers in San Francisco or Marin County,” says Hyun Park, PG&E’s senior vice president and general counsel. “We cannot assume that one size fi ts all in how we work with our customers.” Based in San Francisco, PG&E, a subsidiary of

PG&E Corporation, has 20,000 employees and is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. T e company serves consumers in Northern and Central California. “We recognize that driving high performance requires

a skilled and qualifi ed workforce that is fully engaged and dedicated to serving our customers,” says Park. “Our goal is to have the right people with the right skills in the right places at the right time, supported by operational pro- cesses, human resources practices, and a set of values that together enable employees to do their jobs eff ectively.” More than one-quarter of PG&E’s lawyers are members

of a minority group, and more than half are women. PG&E has a 12-member law department diversity committee to promote diversity among the company’s legal suppliers. For 16 years, the company also has held a Diversity

Celebration at its general offi ce in San Francisco for employees. One of the highlights is the announcement of the president’s Diversity Champion award, which recognizes individuals who demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion. “Celebrating and respecting our diversity is one of PG&E’s

fi ve core values, and it is expected that all PG&E employees behave in a way that support our values,” Park says. Park says that the company has more than 380 active

mentoring relationships in place—a 45 percent increase from 2009—and that more than 2,000 employees have participated in the program. Vendor diversity has also been a priority. PG&E’s

Supplier Diversity Program is now in its 30th year. By the end of last year, the company reported that it had spent more than $1 billion, or 32.7 percent of its procurement funds, on products and services provided by businesses owned by minorities, women, and service-disabled veterans.


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