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Inclusiveness@Work Law Firm/Legal Department Nominee: The NetApp Legal Department

NetApp Legal Department has a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. The department’s commitment is founded on the premise that in order to create and maintain a world-class legal department, it must attract, develop and retain a diverse work force. In the words of NetApp General Counsel, Matt Fawcett, “Smart leaders know that the modern enterprise needs a diverse range of perspectives. This means diversity across every dimension.”

Beginning in 2011, the NetApp Legal Department founded a Diversity and Inclusion Council to cultivate and promote diversity within the legal department. For nearly five years, the department has tracked diversity metrics for the global employee population. Today, more than 50% of the global legal team is either diverse or female. The department also fosters a culture of inclusion that celebrates differences and individual strengths. In 2017, every team member completed the StrengthsFinder assessment. The department subsequently mapped each team member’s strengths to identify the department’s aggregate areas of strength and weakness. This effort enabled the department to celebrate individual differences, facilitate peer-to-peer skill building, and address areas of improvement in a more targeted fashion. Finally, the NetApp Legal Department is proactive in advocating for diversity among its service providers.

The composition of service providers and individuals providing support to NetApp Legal Department today is industry-leading in its diversity. The department leverages technology provided by start-ups to industry behemoths; similarly, the department utilizes both next generation legal services providers and traditional law firms to provide support in areas ranging from operations and contract management to compliance and corporate work. Before bringing on a service provider, the leadership team reviews the diversity, defined broadly, of that service provider. Whether it be geographic, linguistic, gender, racial or ethnic diversity, the leadership team is interested in providers that can offer innovative, out-of-the-box solutions that typically come from individuals with diverse backgrounds.

The department boasts a deep-rooted commitment to diversity. It operates ‘like a business’ and, as such, aims to leverage the collective strengths and distinct perspectives of its core team members and services providers. For NetApp Legal Department, it truly is ‘better together.’

Share your thoughts on the nomination of the NetApp Legal Department in the comments below. Please join us when the recipient of the Inclusiveness@Work Law Firm/Legal Department category is announced on February 10th at our annual Ball for All gala. Tickets and sponsorships are available on the CLI Website.

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