The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto honoured the Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law with its 2016 Diversity Award.
CAMWL received the award at the SABA awards dinner on Nov. 15.
The association looks to advance the legal rights of Muslim women and other marginalized groups.
“A lot of times there are gaps and people don’t realize these gaps exist, but we do because they exist to us,” says co-founder Sharifa Khan.
Khan says the group advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession and looks to provide mentorship and camaraderie to Muslim women who are lawyers or law students. The association, which has 86 members, was founded in 2013.
Khan says there is an increasing number of Muslim women becoming lawyers.
“We wanted to create a space where we could express our own opinions on legal issues and also just provide a space for other members, particularly providing support for each other in the legal profession,” says Khan.
BOOSTING DIVERSITY ON BOARDS
Stikeman Elliott LLP is looking to increase the number of women on boards.
The law firm has launched a new Board Diversity Initiative, which is looking to reach out to clients to discuss gender diversity on boards.
“We thought this would be a great way to add an external facet to our Women’s Initiative, by bringing our clients into some of the things we’re doing from a thought leadership perspective,” says Ramandeep Grewal, counsel with Stikeman Elliott, who has helped lead the initiative.
The firm plans to host a number of events and roundtables on the topic, starting in January, and to engage businesses on practical options to advance the issue in the future.
LSUC RETAINS BLANEY MCMURTRY
Blaney McMurtry LLP is set to defend the Law Society of Upper Canada against a complaint at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
Toronto lawyer Selwyn Pieters filed the complaint alleging that a security guard discriminated against him when he was entering the law society building. Pieters, who is black, said he was stopped by the security guard while giving an intern a tour of the building in July.
LSUC chief executive officer Robert Lapper met with Pieters and his intern and assured them the incident would be investigated. But Pieters was not satisfied with the law society’s reaction and filed the complaint.
LAW TIMES POLL
A recent Law Times story explored how businesses are creating workplace investigation strategies in response to new sexual harassment legislation.
Readers were asked if their law firms have a strategy. Roughly 75 per cent said yes, their workplace has a strategy in place and they recommend clients create one.
The remaining 25 per cent said no, their workplace does not have a strategy in place, and while it’s an important idea, it is simply too resource-intensive at this point.