The Coca-Cola Company Names Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P. As Recipient of Its First ''Living the Values'' Award
Award Recognizes U.S. Based "Partner" Firm for "Best-in-Class" Progressive Diversity Practices
The Coca-Cola Company announced today it will present its first "Living the Values" Award (LVA) to Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. (SHB). The award was established by the Company to annually acknowledge and honor the U.S. law firm, with whom it does business, which best demonstrates its commitment to diversity with creative and innovative solutions that align with The Coca-Cola Company's diversity values.
"Leveraging diversity is integral in achieving sustainable growth in the marketplace. Our collective commitment to diversity will create maximum value for our business, our associates, our partners, and the communities in which we do business," said Muhtar Kent, president and chief operating officer, The Coca-Cola Company. "It is appropriate that we recognize positive actions and those who model and align with our values as a business. I want to congratulate Shook, Hardy & Bacon for their visible leadership and progressive thinking in this critically important area."
The LVA was first announced in 2006 by Geoff Kelly, general counsel and senior vice president, The Coca-Cola Company, with a promise to initiate the first competition in 2007. In November 2007, a questionnaire was distributed to the Company's 18 U.S. "partner" law firms requesting descriptions of their practices and values which support and drive diversity and inclusion in the following areas:
-- Commitment of firm's senior management to diversity with established systems for measuring progress and accountability. -- Representation of minorities and women in the firm generally and in the firm leadership. -- Success in hiring, development, promotion, and retention of minority and women associates within the firm. -- Creative partnering arrangements with minority and women-owned firms. -- Rigor in firm-wide diversity programming such that diversity, as a goal, enjoys firm-wide ownership and participation.
Firm responses were evaluated against the best-in-class practices in each area. SHB earned the highest aggregate score.
"Diversity is and will continue to be a core element of The Coca-Cola Company's values and corporate culture," said Kelly. "I'm excited to work for a company that empowers its people to think big and contribute to work that matters. The legal division worked within the framework of the Company's diversity objectives to create an initiative to champion a continuous cycle of strategy, stewardship and metrics around diversity for our function. We all have an obligation to call out areas for improvement to continue change. Shook, Hardy & Bacon's diversity efforts create long-term value for everyone it works with, and we are pleased to honor them with the Living the Values Award."
In an effort to steward change, SHB has incorporated diversity into its mission statement and established a Diversity Committee in 2000. The firm focuses its diversity efforts on the triple challenges of recruitment, retention and the promotion of a diverse workforce. Additionally, the Diversity Committee and the director of Strategic Diversity Initiatives develop training and sponsor programs that continually emphasize the importance of diversity at SHB and foster a culture of true inclusiveness.
"The Coca-Cola Company is one of the world's most diverse global companies and Shook, Hardy & Bacon is honored to be the first recipient of its Living the Values Award," said SHB Chair John Murphy. "Shook is committed to maintaining a diverse, inclusive environment, and we recognize that this is not a destination, but a journey that requires a long-term investment."
Coca-Cola is one of the first Fortune 100 Companies to publicly honor law firms that excel in workplace diversity efforts. Although workplace diversity programs are voluntary, success in such initiatives requires progressive leadership, wise innovation and cutting edge strategies.
Muhtar Kent will present the award to John Murphy, on Tuesday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. at The World of Coca-Cola during an awards dinner hosted by Geoff Kelly.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola(R), recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five nonalcoholic sparkling brands, including Diet Coke(R), Fanta(R) and Sprite(R), and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our Web site at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
About Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.
Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. is an international law firm with a legal legacy spanning more than a century. Established in Kansas City in 1889, today the firm has grown to more than 1,507 employees worldwide, with 502 attorneys and 262 research analysts and paraprofessionals. The firm has nine offices strategically located in Geneva; Houston; Kansas City, Missouri; London; Miami; Orange County, California; San Francisco; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, D.C. For more information about Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., visit our Web site at www.shb.com.
Source: The Coca-Cola Company
Released April 8, 2008