Eaton Corporation

Eaton Corporation

2008 Employer of Choice Award Winner

Midwest Region

Lisa Sutton
Environmental Health and Safety Senior Counsel

The business areas of Cleveland-based Eaton Corporation resemble an industrial smorgasbord. Eaton is among the leaders of diversified business: Its operations make it a global technology leader in electrical systems for power quality, distribution, and control; hydraulics components, systems, and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics, and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems that enhance performance, fuel economy, and safety. The diversified power management company had sales of $13 billion in 2007. Eaton employs 82,000 people, and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.

Eaton’s diversity in business operations parallels its commitment to diversity in general. “The law department created an action plan and diversity committee under the oversight of general counsel Mark McGuire,” states Lisa Sutton, the company’s environmental health and safety senior counsel and an active diversity proponent. Eaton’s commitment to diversity is further reflected by McGuire’s signature on the Call to Action project, an initiative that encourages businesses to work with law firms that are distinguished leaders in diversity. Eaton also sponsored the Call to Action summit held in Phoenix in April 2008.

True to the company’s credo, “Doing Business Right,” Eaton makes diversity a priority. “The law department has hiring guidelines. For outside attorneys, we have a slate of certified firms that meet our diversity standards. Internally, we use MCCA and Ohio diversity associations to reach out to as many people as possible,” Sutton explains.

(L to R) Veta Richardson of MCCA, Mark M. McGuire, Vice President and General Counsel of Eaton Corporation, and Cornell Boggs of MillerCoors, LLC

The company actively uses certified minority and women-owned law firms. Eaton also utilizes non-certified firms that promote diversity in meaningful ways. For example, Eaton examines the metrics at firms to distinguish those that proactively seek out diverse attorneys, clients, and other employees.

“The Employer of Choice award validates our efforts to achieve the legal department’s goals, as well as those of the overall company. It underscores our commitment, and it is a great accolade that helps us hire and retain minority lawyers. It shows that we not only ‘talk the talk’ but that we ‘walk the walk’,” Sutton says.

“Diversity is not just the ‘flavor of the decade;’ we act on it. It is simply the right way to do business. Hopefully, we can create a stronger corporate culture moving forward and establish diversity as a key part of the business culture,” Sutton concludes. DB

From the November/December 2008 issue of Diversity & The Bar®

Pin It on Pinterest