Stewart S. Hudnut
At Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), there is a long-standing commitment to creating a working environment where all employees can do their best work. This philosophy translates to a corporate culture where differences are respected and valued.
Its General Counsel, Stewart S. Hudnut, manages a team of 10 attorneys, and he plays a major role in contributing to the success of its corporate goals by integrating a standard of excellence both internally and externally.
Forty percent of the department is composed of women and another 40 percent are people of color. Of the nine attorneys that report directly to the general counsel, four are people of color and four are women.
The legal department’s diversity program includes the critical components of a model diversity plan: commitment from senior management, career development programs to increase retention, input from involved and engaged human resource professionals, outstanding recruitment initiatives, involvement by outside counsel and vendors, and a system for measurement and accountability.
Since ITW’s small legal department does not frequently require new hires, its diversity efforts focus on outside counsel.
When a position opens in the law department, ITW works with executive search firms who honor the expectation for a diverse candidate slate.
The company also employs an established system of diversity metrics for their executive search firms, and, periodically, each firm is reviewed for the diversity of the candidates they offer.
To further strengthen its ability to retain a high-performing and diverse legal team, ITW offers a formal mentoring program.
The ITW legal department is proof that regardless of a legal department’s size, it is possible to create a diverse and high-performing team where the contributions of all staff are valued.
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From the December 2002 issue of Diversity & The Bar®