New programs and financial support aim to increase diversity and inclusion across Canada's legal industry

TORONTO, Oct. 13, 2021 /CNW/ - TD Bank Group (TD) and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) have announced today the launch of new programs to support the career aspirations of Black Canadian lawyers, and to increase diversity and inclusion in the field of law across the country, where Black lawyers continue to be significantly underrepresented, particularly at senior ranks.

Together, TD and CABL have designed a series of programs to accelerate career development for Black lawyers, from students to mature professionals. Members of CABL will have access to meaningful one-on-one and group coaching, networking, advice for sponsorship and career growth, and tailored financial planning and wealth management support from TD. These efforts are intended to help close the opportunity gap for Black Canadian lawyers and foster a more equitable Canadian legal industry. 

"Together with the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, we have developed a collaborative approach that brings our philanthropy, people and business together, and aims to change the future of Canada's law profession and support the career aspirations of many Black lawyers," said Norie Campbell, Group Head and General Counsel, and lead of TD's Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy.

As part of the first program cohort, TD has paired 15 CABL members with senior TD lawyers to build mutually beneficial mentoring relationships, supporting the personal and professional development of all participants. TD and CABL are committed to growing the program in the future through additional cohorts, including a second cohort launching in 2022.

TD will also support CABL members at different stages of their careers with financial education and advice. Through TD's Black Customer Experience team, CABL members will have access to: 

  • Financial programs geared towards legal professionals, ranging from starting and building your practice, to estate planning, and philanthropic giving.
  • Personal finance guidance for CABL members, beginning with Black law students and progressing along with CABL members throughout their career, to ensure they start and remain on the right financial path.

Today's announcement is aligned with the broader commitment by TD to help address anti-Black racism and its impacts. Together with Black-led, Black-supporting and Black-focused organizations, like CABL, TD invests in new opportunities that directly benefit Black communities, including advancing Black representation and supporting the development and advancement of Black talent.

As part of this commitment, TD is donating $200,000 over the next three years to support CABL's efforts to increase representation within the legal community and help dismantle barriers Black lawyers may face.

With these funds, CABL will conduct a survey to gain quantitative insights from Black Lawyers to better understand the Black experience in Canada's legal profession, particularly on Bay Street. Expected data could include rates of graduation from law school, areas of practices, location, and compensation. The survey results will be published in 2022. TD funding will also help CABL expand across Canada, creating a national mentorship program focused on the career advancement of law students, including new and foreign trained lawyers and Black lawyers.

"Diversity matters. Not only does having a diverse workforce expose people to different perspectives, experiences and foster greater understanding, but it can also fuel innovation and produce better legal and business outcomes. Working together with TD, we have an opportunity to drive real change and progress on Black representation in the field of law in Canada. Together, we are one step closer to helping advance young lawyers and close the diversity gap," said Raphael Tachie, President, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers.

By acknowledging the existence of anti-Black systemic racism and the need to create opportunities for Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities, TD hopes to continue to build a more inclusive society, where everyone can participate fully. 

To learn how TD is working to help create a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow, explore TD's 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report or the 2020 TD Ready Commitment Report which highlights the progress and impact TD has achieved through its corporate citizenship platform.

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the fifth largest bank in North America by assets and serves more than 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Corporation; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 15 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.7 trillion in assets on July 31, 2021. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

About Canadian Association of Black Lawyers
The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), formed in March 1996, is a national network of law professionals and individuals committed to reinvesting in the community. CABL's continuing goal is to bring together law professionals and other interested members of the community from across Canada to cultivate and maintain The Association of Black professionals in Canada.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

Copyright 2021 Canada NewsWire

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