“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” Winston Churchill
When I first joined the firm, not many people here looked like me. At times, I have been the only employee of color. I would joke with the recruiting directors, asking that they hire someone of color so that I would have company. Early in my tenure with Porzio, I became a single parent and experienced many challenges in my efforts to effectively manage my parental and job responsibilities. So there I was, a minority, a woman and a single parent, attempting to establish myself in a law firm dominated by white men. I have always been treated well and have developed good relationships at the firm, but I still experienced feelings of isolation. It is a feeling only other minorities understand.
Over the years, I worked hard to advance my career within the paralegal department from paralegal to coordinator of paralegal services. As I grew professionally and personally, I looked for new ways to contribute to the firm. As a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee, I helped implement programs to enhance the recruitment, retention and development of diverse personnel. When the Diversity Committee began to discuss the possibility of hiring a diversity manager, I thought, why not me? I understand the personal and professional challenges faced by women and people from different cultures and backgrounds. I am passionate about creating a workplace environment that is welcoming to people from all walks of life. For me, it was obvious – advancing diversity at the firm is something I truly want to do. Luckily, the firm leadership agreed.
As the firm’s first Diversity Manager, I recognize that the creation of a truly diverse and inclusive workplace will be a long journey—one that others will continue after my tenure. I am excited to lead the path to finding and implementing new and innovative ways to achieve our goal.
I invite you to contact me and visit other pages of the Diversity section of our website to obtain more information on our firm’s diversity initiatives, recruiting efforts and upcoming events.
Renée L. Davis