James D. Ellis
SBC Communications Inc. (SBC) is a proven leader in fostering diversity. It has long promoted the advancement and recruitment of minority employees through various career advancement programs, scholarships, the SBC Center for Learning, and other professional development initiatives.
Leading its law department is General Counsel James D. Ellis, who has a strong commitment to diversity. Of the 239 attorneys in the SBC law department, 14 percent are minorities and 35 percent are women. Twenty-five percent of the attorneys that report directly to Ellis are women, and 30 percent of the managing attorneys are women. Additionally, people of color make up 16 percent of SBC’s associates and 10 percent of their managing attorneys.
The awards and recognition of SBC’s workforce diversity practices are many. They include a ranking in Fortune magazine’s “Best Companies for Minorities,” the National Association for Female Executives’ “Top 25 Corporations for Executive Women,” and Employer of the Year by the National Business & Disability Council. DiversityInc.com also named SBC as one of its top companies for diversity, as well as the number one company for supplier diversity.
SBC spends more than 21 percent of its procurement dollars annually with minority- and women-owned businesses.
More recently, SBC received the top award from the National Minority Business Council, and it was also named the top company for Hispanics by two publications, Hispanic and Hispanic Business magazines. These last awards recognize the 24,000 Hispanics employed at SBC, including 10 percent of the company’s board of directors and 9 percent of its corporate officers.
SBC’s commitment to diversity extends beyond the workforce. In 2001, through corporate contributions and the SBC Foundation, the company contributed more than $12 million to organizations serving the Hispanic community.
SBC’s steadfast and continuing support of the law department’s diversity initiatives will only continue to make the organization stand taller as a national role model.
Return to List of 2002 Award Winners
From the December 2002 issue of Diversity & The Bar®