The Diversity Committee Stays Active

The Diversity Committee Stays Active

Division Update Spring 2015

The Antitrust Division, like the Department of Justice as a whole, is committed to the principle that the Division is stronger, more credible, and more effective when its workforce reflects our nation’s rich diversity by including highly qualified individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, and traditions. To support these principles, in 2011 the Antitrust Division created the Diversity Committee, comprised of Division employees who reflect a broad diversity of experience, background, job classification, and personal perspectives from across the Division’s offices.

Judge Roger L. Gregory photo

Judge Roger L. Gregory

The Diversity Committee strives to broaden the dialogue on diversity issues by inviting external perspectives. In the fall of 2014, Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer and the Diversity Committee sponsored a program featuring Judge Roger L. Gregory, the first African American to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Judge Gregory shared  a few personal anecdotes and the lessons that he took from them, including the insights that a single person can be an instrument of change in another’s life and that inequitable treatment should not prevent one from achieving one’s goals. In addition, he emphasized the benefits of diversity in the workplace.

 

In a similar vein, the Diversity Committee is developing a Disabilities in the Workplace Speaker Series whereby accomplished attorneys, judges, and politicians with disabilities are invited to speak about disability issues and the positions that they hold. In addition, in September 2014, Allison Nichol, Special Counsel for Disability Resources in the Associate Attorney General’s Office, led a discussion and provided guidance and practical tips on interviewing persons with disabilities.

2014 Diversity Committee photo

The 2014 Diversity Committee: Seated L-R John Elias, Melanie Krebs-Pilotti, Anupama Sawkar, Fred Parmenter. Standing L-R Toni Taravella, Anurag Maheshwary , Kelly Wilkinson, Stephanie Fleming, May Lee Heye (co-chair), Debbie Roy, Maribeth Petrizzi (outgoing co-chair), Bill Jones, Kristina Srica, Douglas Rathbun, Monica Perez, Sandy Park, Peter Mucchetti (co-chair)

Division attorneys also take leadership roles on diversity-related committees at the departmental level. Fred Parmenter serves on the Attorney General’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities and as a consultant on disability issues for the Division and other components within the Department. Last year, John Elias served as the President of DOJ Pride, with whom the Division has co-sponsored important LGBT programming.

In the past year, the Diversity Committee also worked with other parts of the Department to build and maintain a workplace environment that takes advantage of different perspectives and backgrounds to enhance the experience of employees and improve the quality of the Division’s work. For example, the Diversity Committee led the Antitrust Division’s involvement in the Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Dialogue Program. The program, modeled after similar work done by NASA, brings small groups of employees from across the Department together to discuss the many dimensions of diversity that are represented in our workforce. While the Department is in only its second round of the program, the participants agree that the program has helped them to focus on enhancing personal growth and effectiveness through communicating, listening, introspection, and building acceptance for differing perspectives.

The Division’s focus on creating an atmosphere where diversity is a priority and valued helps the Division be more effective in adapting to changes in the workplace and in the industries that the Division reviews.

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