The excitement and passion for this event and what it represents is palpable to so many of the firm's more than 2500 staff, with the support of the firm's PRIME (Pride, Respect, and Inclusion at MinterEllison) committee, led by Partner, Gordon Williams and Special Counsel, Jennifer Veiga, both of whom identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Both Gordon and Jennifer are proudly front and centre of the Firm’s commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion, and both actively mentor and support others at the firm as they navigate their own paths.
The PRIME committee and Diversity and Inclusion team coordinate a calendar of events that include numerous communications, events, education, and recognition days of significance. The firm understands that LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace plays a vital role in making sure everyone feels safe and comfortable in bringing their whole selves to work. Gordon said “My involvement with PRIME, and marching with my colleagues at Mardi Gras, have been two of the highlights of my 21 years at MinterEllison. I've been lucky – I've always had the support of my colleagues and I've never had to question if it's ok to be out at work. But I know that's not a universal experience. I hope that our participation in Mardi Gras, and that of so many other organisations, helps more queer people to be themselves at work and to thrive.”
Senior Associate Carmen Juarez said “I am so incredibly proud to work at MinterEllison because we truly and authentically champion diversity in all its forms. Publicly demonstrating our support for the LGBTQ+ community at Mardi Gras – now for the third year in a row – is such a powerful act and shows the firm's continued commitment to our community. It means the world to me to be able to be myself at work and to march and dance next to my incredible colleagues once again this year”.
The theme of this year's Parade is 'United we Shine'. Using this as inspiration, the theme for MinterEllison’s float is 'The Light in ME reflects the light in you'. Jennifer said “Our theme represents our determination to shine a light on our people who work so hard every day because the work that we do for our clients in meeting their needs, ultimately helps them to shine. We also shine a light on society in its celebration of diversity in people through this event, to become more inclusive and respectful of every person for the collective good".
Virginia Briggs, CEO and Managing Partner at MinterEllison, added "Mardi Gras is one of the highlights of the MinterEllison calendar. I am incredibly proud of our partnership with Mardi Gras and of all the lawyers that have provided pro bono legal advice to Mardi Gras for almost 25 years to help this important event happen. Everyone marching this year is so excited (including me), particularly after the challenges of the past two years. This year we will be marching and shining a light on the need for equality and justice for the LGBTQ+ community as there are still many challenges in Australia and around the world. Our people and our clients value our commitment to inclusion and diversity. Our LGBTQ+ network PRIME is the beating heart of diversity and inclusion at Minters. As CEO and a passionate LGBTQ+ ally it's a joy and a privilege to march with my colleagues". The tone of the firm clearly starts from the top down.
MinterEllison is a purpose led organisation with part of its core values focussed on diversity in all its forms and building authentic relationships to create lasting impacts for its people, clients, and the community. These values have formed part of the fabric at the firm for a long time. In fact, for nearly 25 years, MinterEllison's corporate, commercial, employment, tax and intellectual property lawyers have helped the Mardi Gras teams with every aspect of their operations, from governance to sponsorship and to more recently helping with their successful bid for Sydney WorldPride 2023.