Lowenstein Sandler proudly announces that, for the fifth consecutive year, it has received a score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. Lowenstein joins the ranks of 767 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.
The CEI rates companies on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:
- Nondiscrimination policies across business entities
- Equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families
- Supporting an inclusive culture
- Corporate social responsibility
Companies rated in the CEI include Fortune magazine’s 500 largest publicly traded businesses, American Lawyer magazine’s top 200 revenue-grossing law firms, and hundreds of publicly and privately held mid- to large-sized businesses. In total, 1,142 companies actively participated in the CEI 2021 Survey including 166 law firms.
“2020 reinforced the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, not only in the workplace but also in the communities where we live,” says Gary M. Wingens, Chair and Managing Partner of the firm. “A commitment to equality has been part of Lowenstein’s DNA since the firm’s inception. It will remain a priority, as we always aim to create an environment where all legal professionals can thrive as their most authentic selves.”
- Danielle Carr, the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director, adds: “Lowenstein applauds the work of the Human Rights Campaign and also embraces the approach the foundation takes to holding employers accountable for doing all that is needed to provide employees with an inclusive workplace. An everyday mantra at Lowenstein is: ‘What gets measured gets done.’”
Lowenstein’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria earned a 100 percent ranking and the designation as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality. The firm offers employees a wide variety of resources and benefits, including:
- An LGBTQ+ Alliance resource group, which meets on a monthly basis and provides firmwide training on LGBTQ issues; participates annually in the Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair; and celebrates Pride Month and Spirit Day through education, social, and community service events
- Equal parental leave for opposite-sex and same-sex couples
- Domestic partner benefits
- Purposeful sponsorship and coaching
- Gender-neutral parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child
The Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest also supports LGBTQ causes through efforts such as collaborating with the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) to represent low-income transgender people who want to change their legal names to better match their identities. Most recently, the center supported TLDEF and Garden State Equality’s successful effort to persuade the New Jersey Supreme Court to remove the publication requirement for name change applicants. The center is also fighting for policy change and damages on behalf of a transgender woman who was assaulted in the male unit of a jail. Until the new administration reversed the military’s transgender ban, the center also represented a class of aspiring and active transgender members of the military who sought to serve openly.
Lowenstein’s best practices and collective efforts to support diversity and inclusion have been recognized through numerous other accolades, including:
- Working Mother’s list of 60 Best Law Firms for Women (the eighth time the firm has made the list)
- Inclusion among WomenInc. magazine’s Top 100 Law Firms for Women
- The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice’s Corporate Leadership Award
- A Crain’s Best Place to Work in New York City
- An NJBIZ Best Place to Work in New Jersey (included on the list for eight consecutive years)
“From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to a long-overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year. Yet, many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality,” says Alphonso David, HRC’s President. “This year has shown us not only that tools like the CEI are crucial to increasing equity and inclusion in the workplace but that companies must breathe life into these policies and practices in real and tangible ways. We are thankful to those companies that understand that protecting their LGBTQ employees and consumers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do–it’s also the best business decision.”
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.
The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.
About Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Lowenstein Sandler is a national law firm with over 350 lawyers based in New York, Palo Alto, New Jersey, Utah, and Washington, D.C. The firm represents leaders in virtually every sector of the global economy, with particular emphasis on investment funds, life sciences, and technology. Recognized for its entrepreneurial spirit and high standard of client service, the firm is committed to the interests of its clients, colleagues, and communities.
Stephen J. Kimmerling
Director, Marketing Communications
Lowenstein Sandler LLP
T: +1 973.597.6176