Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

We embrace the diverse viewpoints that exist within the legal profession.

Resolute in the belief that an inclusive team creates a stronger organization and produces the best results for our clients, we are committed to building a firm that reflects the diversity of our communities. 

We are proud of our open and welcoming workplace culture, which permits each individual to express their gender, faith, race, culture and sexual orientation freely and openly. The inclusive culture at McLennan Ross is intricately woven into our history as a firm and is the result of many contributions from our staff and lawyers. It has also served as a springboard for a rapidly rising number of initiatives internally and in the community, where McLennan Ross lawyers are actively engaged in issues of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I). 

  • Our History

    Our lawyers have a history of offering their work and talent for causes that promote diversity, inclusion, and justice. They are a vibrant group of individuals dedicated to effecting positive change in their communities. From sitting on various committees and boards to participating in panels on topics such as intersectionality and celebrating Pride in the legal profession, our team is steadfast in its commitment to upholding and advancing the principles of ED&I.

    Jim Lebo, Q.C., exemplifies the type of work our lawyers have done to promote inclusion and diversity. Toward the end of the 1990s, Alberta considered the constitutionality of excluding sexual orientation as a protected ground in Alberta’s human rights legislation. When the matter reached the courts in the seminal case of Vriend v Alberta, 212 AR 237, Jim stepped up and volunteered to represent the Canadian Bar Association – Alberta Branch as an intervener, arguing that the exclusion was unconstitutional. Jim stepped forward once again when the decision reached the Supreme Court of Canada.

    Karen Platten, Q.C., regularly recognized by Best Lawyers as one of the top legal talents in Canada, has contributed to significant legal changes that have made a difference in the lives of people who previously endured institutionalized discrimination. Karen sat on the advisory committee to update the Matrimonial Property Act to the Family Property Act. Thanks to her, the Act now features important changes that bring adult-interdependent partnerships into the property division regime whereas before property division was exclusively a right for married couples.

    More recently, our partner Teresa Haykowsky envisioned and edited Truth Be Told: An Anthology of Inspirational Stories by Women in the Law containing 114 personal stories by women in the law including McLennan Ross lawyers Karen Platten, Q.C., Jennifer Biernaskie, Cynthia Asami Aoki, and Kimberly Wasylenchuk.

  • Our Firm

    Our approach to ED&I starts with action. McLennan Ross's ED&I Committee focuses on allyship, education, awareness, and inclusivity. Our ED&I committee has representation from partners, associates, and staff located in all three of our office locations.

    Our associates and partners participate in an excellent mentorship program. Junior associates are paired with two mentors of their choice, who help them develop their practice and become a source of professional and personal support. Supportive mentorship benefits not just the mentees but also the mentors at McLennan Ross, allowing for new perspectives, encouraging confidence and knowledge, and cultivating a growth mindset.

  • Our Community

    McLennan Ross promotes ED&I initiatives in our communities. There are numerous charitable and ED&I initiatives and volunteer opportunities regularly available for all firm members. For more information about our community involvement, click here.

    McLennan Ross has supported and participated in Pride celebrations by not only marching in the Pride Parade, but also contributing to the education of the legal profession on the importance of including, recognizing, and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. We have also provided allyship training as part of our commitment to and support of Pride Calgary.

    Members of our firm are leaders in their faith communities including, for example, participating in organizing the Red Mass celebrated annually for members of the legal profession and joining the Board of a Calgary Synagogue.

  • Our Future

    McLennan Ross appreciates the diverse perspectives that exist within the legal profession, along with the business and cultural benefits these perspectives bring to our practice. We look forward to further ED&I initiatives and hope to continue to attract more diverse talent because we know it leads to growth, productivity, and a stronger organization.