ST. LOUIS — Christoper A. Pickett has been chosen as the first chief diversity officer for St. Louis-based law firm Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale.
The firm announced that Pickett will lead their collective efforts to encourage and create a "dynamic and diverse workspace."
“Greensfelder’s CDO essentially serves as the “voice” of the firm for diversity matters, both internally and externally,” said Pickett.
As the CDO, Pickett will strengthen the firm's preexisting Diversity and Inclusion Committee and provide an additional point of contact for prospective talent and existing clients - a spectrum of possibilities with the sole goal of achieving diversity, he said.
“Having an individual who is charged with being attentive to matters of diversity is important on a variety of fronts including developing management strategies that embrace matters of diversity, cultivating an inclusive work place environment that invites input from multiple and varied perspectives, retaining and promoting diverse attorneys, hiring decisions, maintaining a pipeline to qualified candidates and strengthening client relationships,” said Pickett.
As an officer at Greensfelder, Pickett knows firsthand how important diversity is to a collaborative and successful law firm. Since joining Greensfelder in 2012, he has been active as the chairman of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and was named a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity fellow in 2013, taking part in a national leadership program for attorneys from diverse backgrounds.
The firm's efforts to promote diversity have been honored twice by the Washington University Black Law Student Association (BLSA), and was named by Law 360 among the “100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys” in 2015, according to a firm press release.
“In 2011, the firm played a leading role in orchestrating the first-ever St. Louis Legal Diversity Summit, which brought Professor David B. Wilkins of Harvard Law School to St. Louis to discuss the need to cultivate greater diversity in the legal profession,” Picket added.
Greensfelder originally formed its Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2004 to take on a major role in influencing and implementing diversity policies and programs. According to Pickett, the committee has worked for the past 12 years to coordinate diversity-related events, develop methods to measure the effectiveness of the diversity initiatives, monitor the recruitment of diverse talent, and much more.
In order to further promote diversity, Greensfelder offers mentor programs, funding for minority attendance at leadership programs and conferences, and training for all employees on matters of diversity.
“In 2007, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. gave its diversity commitment greater structure by hiring a director of professional development and inclusion. Today, the chief diversity officer (CDO) fulfills that role by working with firm management and practice group leaders to ensure that matters of diversity are considered in all firm decisions,” said Pickett.
“Ultimately, this collaboration helps formulate effective initiatives designed to promote and increase diversity and inclusiveness at Greensfelder.”