Baird’s commitment to inclusion and diversity is reflected in a variety of internal and external programs that emphasize ongoing, meaningful community outreach. Some of Baird’s greatest community partnerships have come from the work of our Associate Resource Groups (ARGs), which provide opportunities to network and enhance personal and professional growth. These multi-faceted programs support the firm’s mission of serving an increasingly diverse client base and inclusively engaging the best talent globally, while providing our associates with a stronger sense of community – both inside and outside of Baird. Prism, Baird’s multicultural Associate Resource Group, achieves its mission by supporting efforts to attract the best talent, increasing awareness and appreciation for cultural diversity and offering networking and professional development opportunities to its members. Since Prism formed, the number of Baird officers who are people of color has more than tripled.
Baird Foundation supports nonprofit organizations aligned with our focus on health and human services, education, the arts, and diversity, which we believe share Baird’s strong commitment to equality and opportunity for all. The Foundation supports diverse organizations where our associates are actively engaged in making a difference. Any branch, department or associate can ask the foundation to contribute to a particular charitable endeavor, and a key factor the Foundation considers is the requestor’s involvement and commitment to the cause. In addition to gifts made directly to qualifying charities, Baird Foundation matches associates’ contributions to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations up to 50% through its Associate Match program. In 2019, Baird Foundation match contributions totaled more than $1.1 million. Baird Foundation also donated over $1,000,000 in 2019 focused on education with the majority in support of schools with diverse student enrollment.
Our greatest opportunities to increase diversity are often at entry-level and junior positions. We have expanded our internship programs and have multiple efforts in place to recruit emerging, diverse candidates. In 2019, Baird’s firmwide internship program had 193 interns from 58 universities, of which 28% were ethnically diverse individuals and 40% were women.
We are proud to be a long-time partner of Rainier Scholars and enjoy hosting students in our Seattle office each year. They bring a great energy to our workplace. Our associates also enjoy partnering with them to meet our clients’ needs and learning from them.