Diversity and Inclusion
At Bush Ross, we are committed to creating and upholding a workplace that values the contributions of every member of our team and appreciates the innovation that comes from diverse culture, background and perspectives. Accordingly, Bush Ross is dedicated to diversity initiatives and measures both within our firm and throughout our community. Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee is fundamental to our firm’s practice and integral in our firm leadership. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee works to support our firm’s objectives through mentorship programs, leadership opportunities, speaking engagements, quarterly luncheons and social events, as well as through community involvement. Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee consists of members from the firm’s Board of Directors, shareholders, associates, and administrative personnel.
Diversity is vital to the culture and success of Bush Ross, not only in identifying our client’s needs and achieving goals, but also by recognizing the strength of a diverse team in delivering quality service and excellent work product. Bush Ross is committed to respecting and fostering all forms of diversity including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. These efforts are seen in every aspect of our business model including attorney recruitment, retention, and professional development, and through the advancement of attorneys, administration, and staff. Our efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion continue to evolve each year as we continue to focus on developing and promoting talented individuals, while encouraging leadership and sponsorship within our community.
Diversity and Inclusion in Action:
- Creation of the Women’s Leadership Initiative
- Bush Ross Women Lawyers’ socials, a firm-sponsored series developing and promoting the potential of women lawyers and supporting their successful legal career and leadership at the firm and beyond.
- Diversity and Inclusion Committee Quarterly Luncheons
- Firm-sponsored luncheon series that seek to recognize and understand the implications of implicit biases and hidden barriers for advancement, wherein members strategize and create programs to provide opportunities, limit implicit biases, and afford leadership and advancement opportunities within our firm.
- Creation of diverse teams to ensure that practice areas are well represented.
- Provide equal access to mentors at all levels.
- Annual participation in the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Diversity Networking Social, an annual event showcasing what the Tampa Bay area has to offer by connecting law students with attorneys, judges and members of local legal organizations in a casual, friendly and low-pressure environment.
- Annual participation and sponsorship of the George Edgecomb Bar Association’s Scholarship Banquet, an annual scholarship dinner helping to make the goal of obtaining a higher education attainable for dozens of outstanding African American students enrolled in public high schools in Hillsborough County.
- Annual participation in the READ TO DREAM: John F. Germany Young Readers Initiative, an annual after-school reading program at Title I schools in collaboration with Friends of the Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library, Hillsborough County Public Schools, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association helping to engage at-risk children in reading activities and to build the home libraries of school-aged children in high-poverty urban neighborhoods or “book deserts.”
- Annual sponsor of the Best of Tampa Bay benefit for the Straz Center of the Performing Arts.
- Annual participation and sponsorship of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.
- Annual participation in the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Law Week, a program that provides local elementary, middle and high school students with exposure to the legal profession through courthouse tours, art competition, mock-trials, and classroom discussions.
- Annual Sponsor of the Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program, which allows students the opportunity to work in a professional environment and develop skills through on the job experience.
Women’s Leadership Initiative
• Incorporates a Mentorship Program that encourages excellence and provides
support, encouragement and opportunities for career growth
• Encourages and advocates for continued commitment to diversity
• Promotes Strategies for Work/Life Balance
• Upholds Professional Development Strategies and Objectives
Involvement in Organizations:
The Women’s Leadership Initiative has supported various organizations, including:
• Big Brothers Big Sisters
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay
• Children’s Home Society
• Crossroads for Florida’s Kids
• Florida Association of Women Lawyers
• Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers
• International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation
• Straz Center for the Performing Arts
• Tampa Chamber of Commerce
Many of our attorney’s serve as board members for these various community organizations, chair committees, and sponsor state-wide events that enhance and promote women in leadership.
Our Women Leaders:
Many of Bush Ross’s female attorneys are consistently recognized for their leadership roles and accomplishments within the legal profession and various community organizations. We have sixteen attorney’s currently recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, twenty-three named on Florida Super Lawyers and Rising Stars programs, and sixteen named in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. Our attorney’s regularly publish articles, are frequently selected as keynote speakers, and often present on issues involving diversity, professionalism, and their specific practice areas.
Bush Ross's Diversity and Inclusion Committee is Chaired by Astrid Guardado and Jennifer Chapman.