Motorola, Inc. (Schaumburg, IL)

Motorola, Inc. (Schaumburg, IL)

2004 Employer of Choice Award Winner

Midwest Region

A. Peter Lawson
A. Peter Lawson
General Counsel

Motorola, Inc. views diversity as a strategic business opportunity. As a global leader in wireless, broadband, and automotive communications technologies and embedded electronic products, the company strives to drive global diversity as a competitive advantage. It knows that its long-term success can only be assured by empowering "Motorolans," as it calls employees, from diverse backgrounds, styles, cultures, and abilities.

Under the leadership of A. Peter Lawson, executive vice president and general counsel, diversity has become a central pillar of talent development in Motorola's law department. Diverse attorneys occupy critical senior positions throughout Motorola's business sectors, which has translated into tangible business results where diverse viewpoints and experiences have become an integral part of the practice.

Diverse talent resides throughout the organization, among attorneys, paralegals, para-professionals and staff. The department boasts two African-American vice presidents: one is the lead attorney for one of Motorola's six business units and the other is a woman who directs the intellectual property strategy team. A Latino vice president heads the company's large semiconductor division, and a Latina director leads the company's immigration practice. A woman vice president runs legal operations for Motorola's public safety-homeland security sector, a core business. Another woman vice president serves as the company's chief ethics officer. And there are two Asian vice presidents: one leading legal services for all of Asia, the other a woman who heads the company's China practice. Additionally, women vice presidents lead key practice areas such as mergers and acquisitions, securities, and labor and employment.

Thomas Sabatino, Jr., A. Peter Lawson, Veta Richardson
(L to R): Thomas Sabatino, Jr., Baxter International; A. Peter Lawson, Motorola; and Veta Richardson, MCCA

Within Motorola, five diversity business councils, each formally structured with a senior-level executive sponsor and top-management co-leaders, were launched in June 2000: the Asian Business Council; Black Business Council; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Business Council; Latino Business Council; and the Women's Business Council. Leaders from the law department were pivotal in launching the Women's Business Council and providing program support to other groups, including a popular "Peer-to-Peer Mentoring" program that has been adopted by all diversity councils.

Additionally, a market-based diversity strategy was developed to enhance Motorola's recruitment and retention of top talent, and to help identify, target, and capitalize on key under-represented consumer markets.

Motorola also ensures that it has a presence at diversity events in the legal community as well as other fields. Recognition for Motorola's diversity efforts has been profuse and consistent. Among its other accolades, the company was selected as one of the "Top 50 Employers of Choice" by the National Society of Black Engineers. Additionally, it has been recognized by Equal Opportunity, Minority Engineer, Women Engineer, Workforce Diversity for Engineering; and IT Professionals magazines.

From the November/December 2004 issue of Diversity & The Bar®

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