In the era of #MeToo and increased focus on diversity in law firms, firms and corporate clients must include the intersectionality of LGBTQI identities within their current framework of sexual or gender-based harassment, discrimination, and benefits. LGBTQI individuals are frequently the targets of sexual harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexuality or gender presentation or identity, but LGBTQI individuals can also engage in sexual harassment or discrimination unintentionally or in a misguided attempt at humor and collegiality in the workplace. The culture of objectification can be a weapon used against and within the LGBTI community. This permutation of queer culture is often ignored or overlooked in trainings, sensitivity awareness, and protections which were originally created to protect women from mistreatment by men. LGBTQI individuals are routinely excluded from insurance policies for fertility, cryopreservation, and gender confirmation procedures, including post-transition fertility needs. Thankfully, our fight as a community has moved from access to the generally available benefits for domestic partners and now legal spouses, but workplaces must now adjust their policies to adequately include our needs rather than just permit us to access what has always been available. In order to adequately attract and retain LGBTQI lawyers from junior associate positions all the way through partnership or in house counsel roles, firms must address the shortcomings in their policies, procedures, and trainings as it specifically impacts LGBTQI individual’s happiness and safety in the workplace.
Location: Franklin 12
Speakers: Mike Jackson (Target); Dru Levasseur (National LGBT Bar Association); Jenn Protas (Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel); Rebekah Scherr (Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP)