Foster Swift's policies have changed throughout its history to reflect the changing work environment and progressive gender and racial politics. In 1983, Foster Swift made reduced hours arrangements available to accommodate the work-life balance for several women attorneys. These efforts to accommodate work-life balance have led to the success of many women attorneys who became shareholders in the firm after (or while in the midst of) a reduced hours arrangement.
Yet our firm is still evolving. We continue to seek out a diverse workforce and are committed to strengthening our representation of attorneys and staff of all backgrounds. At Foster Swift, we believe that a diverse and comprehensive staff enables us to better serve our communities.
We are updating our diversity training and other efforts to meet our existing diversity goals and we will continue to set new goals as the needs of our firm and our communities change.
The Diversity Committee hosted two formal “Lunch and Learn” educational opportunities in 2017:
“Understanding the LGBTQ Community” was held on May 30. Tedi Parsons, the Diversity Manager and Executive Director from Lansing Area Economic Partnership presented. The format was interactive and many people, staff and attorneys, asked questions and shared experiences.
Laura Fiyak CEO of Heavenly Hope Ministries spoke on Human Trafficking on September 18. We collected $2000 from Lansing and Southfield personnel to donate to the organization. In Grand Rapids, the personnel made a donation to Sacred Beginnings, an organization with a similar purpose.
Programs to promote work-life balance
As part of the firm's technology package, Foster Swift offers the ability to telecommute. Attorneys are encouraged to be in the office as much as is practicable, but sometimes working from home or out of the office is the best option. Prior approval for occasional telecommuting is not necessary.
The firm has also instituted a part-time policy available to attorneys who have been with the firm for one year or more on a case-by-case basis.