Simpalm is dedicated to providing a safe work environment in which all employees are included, treated with dignity and respect, and placed in positions that will contribute to our future success.
People of all gender identities, ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, cultures, religious or political beliefs, languages, education levels, socioeconomic backgrounds, family or relationship statuses, sexual orientations, genetics, and/or abilities have been prioritized throughout our history. Simpalm is dedicated to achieving both short- and long-term goals.
Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
Simpalm best serves our clients when we foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. We value – and our clients benefit from having – the perspectives of employees with different backgrounds and experiences. Simpalm promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion through participating in local initiatives, encouraging its members to participate in and support affinity groups, and implementing internal policies and practices aimed at ensuring that each individual has an equal opportunity to succeed regardless of their background and identity.
Recruitment & Hiring
Simpalm performs better when it considers the perspectives of individuals with different backgrounds and fosters an overall culture that is equitable and inclusive, which includes providing reasonable accommodations as needed. We recruit diverse candidates by seeking out diverse applicant slates from a variety of sources. We retain diverse candidates by fostering a culture of equity and inclusiveness. We work closely with our clients to create diverse teams for client matters. To that end, when a position becomes available, we utilize the following practices for recruiting diverse candidates, in addition to commonly used channels:
- Notifying both internal and external recruiters that we are seeking a diverse applicant pool and advertising the positions for all type of job openings.
- Striving to have at least 30% of the applicant pool come from diverse backgrounds. If this objective is not met during the initial round of applications, making a more directed effort to achieve this percentage.
- Including diverse interviewers on our interview panels.
- Providing interviewers with training to help mitigate implicit bias and ensure that they are sensitive and aware of Simpalm’s goals regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Including references to the Simpalm diversity policies in the materials it uses to advertise the position.
- Refraining from considering salary history when screening candidates for a position and determining starting salary offers.
Retention & Workplace Inclusiveness
Creating a Culture of Equity and Inclusivity
Our firm understands that to build an equitable, inclusive, diverse workplace, we must put forth measures that facilitate the retention of employees with diverse backgrounds. To that end, our firm promises to:
- Host regular required semi-annual implicit bias, bias interrupter, and workplace inclusiveness trainings for all of our employees.
- Actively encourage the wellbeing and mindfulness of our employees, including diverse employees, whose particular experiences may warrant the provision of individualized support. This commitment includes providing reasonable accommodations as needed.
Inclusion & Belonging Guiding Principles
We believe that by investing in an inclusive culture, we will attract the best and brightest talent, leading to more innovative solutions for our valued customers. Building and sustaining an inclusive and diverse culture is essential for business success, and it is the right thing to do. This is who we are:
- We believe in an inclusive work environment where employees are welcomed, valued, respected, and heard.
- We believe that employees will be provided a safe work environment.
- We believe that diversity brings strength.
- We believe in equality of opportunity free from discrimination.
- We believe in hiring and promoting the most qualified candidate.
- We believe in employee development at all levels of the organization.
- We believe in the power of belonging as an integral component in achieving diversity & inclusion and business success.
Commitment to Continued Progress on Diversity & Inclusion Matters
We will continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion: We will create and maintain environments, platforms, and forums where our people feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other’s experiences and perspectives. By encouraging an ongoing dialogue and not tolerating any incongruence with these values of openness, we are building trust, encouraging compassion and open-mindedness, and reinforcing our commitment to a culture of inclusivity.
We will implement and expand unconscious bias education: Experts tell us that we all have unconscious biases, that is human nature. Unconscious bias education enables individuals to begin recognizing, acknowledging, and therefore minimizing any potential blind spots he or she might have, but wasn’t aware of previously. We will commit to rolling out and/or expanding unconscious bias education within our company in the form that best fits our specific culture and business. By helping our employees recognize and minimize their blind spots, we aim to facilitate more open and honest conversations.
We will share best practices: Simpalm has established programs and initiatives around diversity and inclusion. By sharing our efforts and initiatives with others, we will commit to helping Maryland legal profession evolve and enhance its current diversity strategies.
We will create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our board of directors. We will work with our board of directors (or equivalent governing bodies) through the development and evaluation of concrete, strategic action plans to prioritize and drive accountability around diversity and inclusion.
We will create a workplace environment that reflects a healthy disposition toward difference, by:
- Providing ongoing and relevant training to employees and client-facing staff on how to exhibit and encourage behavior that exemplifies our values of civility and respect.
- Establishing and promoting workplace culture expectations that all employees and visiting guests are made aware of and make commitments to follow.
- Motivating and empowering employees to take responsibility for their actions and to help positively influence the behavior and civility of their fellow employees.
- Sharing and implementing methods on how to best create a culture of accountability and respect when it comes to issues of diversity and inclusivity.
- We collect pay data by race/ethnicity, gender, and other factors so as to actively prevent pay discrimination and/or inequity within our firm/organization.
- We strive to create an environment that normalizes and destigmatizes open conversations regarding compensation, be it among employees or between employees and organizational management/ leadership.
- We do not consider salary history when screening candidates for a position, nor do we use salary history to determine starting salary offers.
- We make information about starting pay, promotions, bonuses, and other forms of monetary compensation publicly accessible and widely available to our employees.
Professional Development & Advancement
Demonstrated Commitment to Growth & Success
Simpalm provides a viable path for all employee to participate in our leadership. In addition to objective criteria, we consider work quality, efficiency, client base, client satisfaction, positive workplace attitude, and services to the Simpalm, government, and community in making decisions regarding candidacy and participating in firm leadership.
Mentors shall work with employees to ensure that projects are staffed in a manner intended to reflect diverse perspectives and to give all employees equal opportunities for growth and business development, including opportunities such as Pre-sales call, discovery, designing, development, testing and project management. Each project team shall report to the mentoring coordinator quarterly about how its projects are staffed and what opportunities its employees have had to develop their skills and build their practice.
Any performance reviews will be completed in a manner that is constructive, collaborative, and fair. If needed, the Simpalm shall make available to its employee tools to improve their performance such as individualized performance improvement plans, business development workshops, career coaches, and speakers.
Diversity in Leadership
Our firm encourages employees of all backgrounds to succeed. To this end, we adopt the following measures regarding diversity in our leadership:
- For all leadership positions and activities, we strive to have at least 30% of those interviewed or considered to have a diverse background.
- We have in place a plan with specific steps for achieving the foregoing goal.
- Job descriptions for the leadership positions and activities shall be created and posted in a way that ensures that the processes for election and/or appointment to these roles are transparent and accessible to all eligible candidates.
Participation & Support of Affinity Groups
Simpalm understands that to have a more diverse and inclusive workplace, we must work together with organizations such as the Maryland Center for Legal Inclusion, the Women in IT, US Black Chamber of Commerce, the Disability Law Center, and LGBT Association of Maryland. Our firm encourages its shareholders, partners, and employees to become active members of, leaders in, and mentors within these groups. We commit to support these groups by actively encouraging our members to attend the events hosted by these organizations, co-sponsoring related events and programming, and by remaining dedicated to continued collaboration to improve the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in Maryland’s IT profession.
Diversity Hours Policy
Simpalm will recognize 60 hours of diversity time each year for employees as if such hours are billable. Qualifying diversity activities include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Attending internal and external diversity educational sessions.
- Presenting on diversity and inclusion topics serving on firm-wide or office diversity and inclusion committees participating in the firm’s internal affinity groups.
- Organizing or attending diversity-related events.
- Participating in recruiting efforts targeted at diverse candidates.
- Volunteering for affinity groups.
- Mentoring diverse in-house or external employees or technical interns.
- Representing Simpalm at client-facing diversity events or trainings.