On June 21, 2018, Cohen Milstein’s Kalpana Kotagal, a Partner in Cohen Milstein’s Civil Rights & Employment practice and Chair of the firm’s Hiring and Diversity Committee, was presented with the Chambers Women in Law USA 2018, “Outstanding Contribution to the Community in Advancing Diversity Award,” recognizing her contribution to the “inclusion rider,” an adaptable contractual addendum that stipulates for the consideration of hiring talented professionals from historically underrepresented groups, women being disproportionately underrepresented across all such groups. The inclusion rider was first publicly referenced by Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand in her 2018 Best Actress Academy Awards acceptance speech, generating world-wide attention and media coverage.
Along with Ms. Kotagal, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Associate Professor at USC, Founder and Director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who conceptualized the inclusion rider, and Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Head of Strategic Outreach at Pearl Street Films, also won Chambers’ Outstanding Contribution to the Community in Advancing Diversity Award for their roles in the inclusion rider project.
Annually, Chambers Women in Law Awards recognizes legal pioneers from both in-house and private practice who have furthered the advancement of women within the legal industry, including ground-breaking achievements, such as the inclusion rider, and other programs and mentors that have brought about dramatic improvements in gender equality, as well as women's professional advancement, empowerment, and inclusion in the legal profession and field of law.
More information on Chambers Women in Law Awards: USA 2018 and the award winners can be found here.