At Chartwell Law, we value the experiences and viewpoints of all of our attorneys and staff. We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion foster both innovation and a better understanding of ourselves and our clients.
As we continue our celebration of Black History Month, this week we feature attorney Joline Spears from our Deerfield Beach, FL office. Joline shares her views on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in her personal and professional life and discusses her views on Black History Month.
Is there a specific experience or Black figure you were influenced by during your childhood?
My childhood was heavily influenced by multiple Afro-Caribbean and African-American leaders and contributors to the development of black people. Growing up in Jamaica, my parents made me very aware of the positive role of many black artists, singers,and activists in the world, particularly Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, and Bob Marley. Writers like Walter Mosley, Alex Hailey and Zora Neal Thurston helped expand my love of reading and literature which has been a positive influence on me as an adult.
How do you view the importance of diversity and inclusion in today’s workplace?
Diversity is necessary and needed in every professional field, but especially in the legal field. When companies include people with different backgrounds and experiences, it creates avenues for each employee to learn something different from those around them. This provides a broader range of skills by default and equals more productivity for a company. But on a human level, diversity brings a feeling of acceptance and value which helps to fight individual biases people may have.
What diversity and inclusion changes would you like to see in the future of the legal industry?
The legal field diversity statistics do not mirror the statistics of the world around us. Specific to people of color, 9%of partners are African-American and 3% are women of color. I think change in the percentages of people of color on the executive level, equity partner and partner level would have a positive effect on the legal field as a whole. I am thankful to be a part of a firm that encourages and values my diverse skills, experiences and perspectives and encourages me in my quest for ultimate success.