Iris is DLA Piper's global resource group for its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees and allies.
The group is open to all lawyers and staff of the firm and its overall aim is to promote an inclusive work environment for all of our colleagues. In addition to providing welcoming support to its members, the group serves as a forum and advisory body on matters of concern to the firm's LGBT personnel and supports projects that promote justice for the greater LGBT community.
The name Iris was selected following an internal competition to find a new name to reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of the group. In Greek mythology, Iris was the personification of the rainbow and the messenger linking humanity to the gods. The many-coloured iris as part of the eye is named after this messenger, giving light and clarity to our perception of the world.
Iris seeks to promote an inclusive work environment for all of our colleagues by organizing and encouraging the following:
- Networking opportunities both within the firm and externally.
- Working jointly with clients on LGBT initiatives.
- Sharing information and ideas between the group and firm.
Raising our profile as an open and inclusive LGBT employer.
Each year DLA Piper marks Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month. The aims of the month are to celebrate the lives and achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from the past and present and raise awareness and advance education matters affecting the LGBT community.
Marking World Aids Day
We work with UNAIDS, the program established by the United Nations to take comprehensive and coordinated global action on HIV/AIDS, to effect change across the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions. Our diverse portfolio of projects includes comparative analysis of legislation, assisting with amicus briefs and third party interventions in legal proceedings, and commenting on draft labour laws in relation to discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.
For the past nine years, we have scored 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, which measures success in LGBTQ equality.
Each year in June, the firm recognizes LGBT Pride Month with a national program broadcast by video to all US offices. Recent Pride Month events include a conversation with business leader and LGBT advocate Mitchell Gold, and presentations by PFLAG.
Champions of change
The LGBTQ resource group has an executive sponsor who is a member of the firm's Executive Committee and who advises the group and helps to champion their objectives.
Across Asia, we are a diverse workforce, and we are proud of the culture of value and respect for each individual member of our team. We aim to nurture and maintain a supportive work environment so that no one in our organisation feels they have to hide who they are and who they love when at work.
Our offices in Australia have proudly hosted internal events for ‘Wear it Purple’ Day and World AIDS Day and fundraised for local HIV/AIDS charities.
They have also attended Pride and Diversity Roundtables with representatives of other member organizations, including key clients, and hosted networking drinks in Melbourne for Interfirm, the networking group for LGBTI professionals and their allies.
Australia has also rolled out LGBTI diversity and inclusion training across its offices.
We are proud members of the Hong Kong Gay and Lesbian Attorneys (HKGALA) Network, championing LGBT diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
At DLA Piper, we believe people should not be judged on their sexual orientation or which gender they identify with, but instead on their personal merit. As one of the world's largest global law firms we are intrinsically diverse and it is our differences and acceptance that make us such a strong global team.
Acceptance without exception
We are members of Stonewall, the largest LGBT rights organization in Europe. We feature in Stonewall's Starting Out Careers Guide for job-seekers from the LGBT community.
In August, colleagues from across our European offices took part in the Leeds Pride parade alongside JLL, a global property management company. The firm intends colleagues to attend future Pride events within Europe.
To coincide with LGBT History Month in the UK, we have been proud to be official festival supporters of the LGBT History Festival for the last three years. The festival is aimed at highlighting both the historical and present struggles of the LGBT+ community and has secured such high-profile speakers as Peter Tatchell and Stuart Milk (nephew of Harvey).
Colleagues from across Germany were invited to sample our ‘Candy Bar’ at the country-wide Christmas party in Hamburg in support of LGBT+ inclusion.