August 30, 2018
202-800-3423 x 8003
MCCA Announces Regional Winners for the 2018 Employer of Choice Award and
Inaugural Charlotte E. Ray Award Honoree
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) announced four regional winners for its 2018 Employer of Choice Award and the winner of the inaugural Charlotte E. Ray Award. The Employer of Choice award honors corporate legal departments who have made meaningful commitments to creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces. Charlotte E. Ray was the country’s first black woman lawyer and practiced at a time when women were largely barred from the profession. The award given in her honor will recognize women of color who are blazing a trail for the next generation of women of color and breaking down barriers to achieving success in the legal field.
“We are proud to honor the winners of these awards for their incredible accomplishments and continuing dedication to making real progress toward changing the face of the legal industry,” said Jean Lee, MCCA President and CEO. “Each honoree leads the industry in recognizing the value and positive impact of diversity in the workplace.”
“Our award recipients really challenge the status quo to develop work environments that foster the hiring, retention, and development of diverse attorneys,” said A.B. Cruz III, MCCA Board Chair and Senior Vice President of Enterprise Shared Services for the Chief Legal Office at USAA.
The 2018 Employer of Choice Award regional winners are:
Freddie Mac, Mid-Atlantic Region: The company’s Vendor Academy and supplier diversity policy help to address how to engage and develop diverse vendors in their supply chain.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Freddie Mac, is a public government-sponsored enterprise that works to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market.
Nationwide, Midwest Region: Nationwide’s leadership development programs are designed to give employees the opportunity to explore different areas of the business and be exposed to leaders across the company. Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, provides a full range of insurance and financial services.
Gap Inc., Western Region: Gap Inc.’s relentless efforts to increase diversity in the profession, including its own work to ensure the engagement and retention of its diverse talent, are a model for how organizations can make inclusion and diversity part of their core DNA. Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta brands.
Honeywell International Inc., Northeast Region: Honeywell has created extensive metrics to gauge the success of its diversity and inclusion initiatives. The company’s secondment program is amongst the best and most innovative in the field providing valuable mentorship and development opportunities for diverse, high-potential legal talent. Honeywell is a Fortune 100 software-industrial company that delivers industry specific solutions that include aerospace and automotive products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; and performance materials globally.
The inaugural Charlotte E. Ray award recipient is Michele Coleman Mayes, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the New York Public Library. Over the course of her career, Mayes has held senior legal positions at: Allstate Corporation, Pitney Bowes Inc, Colgate-Palmolive Company and the Unisys Corporation. Mayes is known as a natural leader and trailblazer in the legal field. Her accomplishments have been recognized through numerous professional awards, including The American Lawyer Lifetime Achievement award. Mayes has spoken at length about the challenges women of color face in the legal field, the prevalence of cultural biases and has made it a priority in her career to help other women of color succeed as attorneys.
“Michele has made incredible advances as a woman of color and serves as a true inspiration to others looking to start or advance in the legal field,” said Lee. “We are proud to name her our first Charlotte E. Ray award recipient because she personifies what it means to be a trailblazer and has used her career to disrupt the status quo.”
“Michele has worked tirelessly to open up opportunities for women in the profession that had previously been inaccessible,” said Cruz. “ From her time with the Justice Department through her current post at The New York Public Library, Michele’s work has changed the standards of how we perceive diverse attorneys and help them to grow in the legal field.”
The winners of the national Employee of Choice award and the Charlotte E. Ray award will be honored at MCCA’s Diversity Gala on October 3 from 7:30-11 PM at the American Museum of Natural History.
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association was founded in 1997 with the purpose of making the next generation of legal leaders as diverse as the world we live in. From publishing research insights to providing professional development opportunities to offering advisory services, today MCCA is the preeminent voice on diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. MCCA empowers members with the tools needed to disrupt business as usual – and to blaze a path forward for their company, industry and corporate America.