HOUSTON (Lawfuel) – Andrews Kurth LLP Chairman Howard Ayers has been named one of the six inaugural recipients of the Glass Ceiling Award presented by the Texas Diversity Council. The award recognizes business leaders who have promoted and supported the achievements of diverse employees, allowing them to break through the proverbial “glass ceiling.”
Ayers will be among the honorees at the Texas Diversity and Leadership Glass Ceiling Awards Breakfast on May 15 at Houston’s Westin Galleria. Recipients represent a wide range of industries, and Ayers is the only law firm representative to earn the honor. The Glass Ceiling Award honors those with a proven commitment to the advancement of diverse individuals within the workplace, and who have encouraged their organizations to voluntarily eliminate barriers allowing for the advancement of diverse individuals to the upper ranks of management.
“It means a great deal to me that Andrews Kurth is among the first recipients of this award,” says Ayers, who was the firm’s Managing Partner from 1997 to 2007. “We know that our success as a firm is enhanced by embracing diversity and developing talents of each individual, and we’ve made doing so a priority for many years. It’s gratifying that the progress we have made is being recognized by this award, and it certainly encourages us, and we hope others, to continue.”
During Ayers’ tenure as Managing Partner of Andrews Kurth, he spearheaded the creation of the firm’s biennial Executive Women’s Retreats, the establishment of the Women’s Initiative Team and hiring of a full-time Partner and Chief Diversity Officer. He also co-chaired the Houston Bar Association’s Gender Fairness Committee in 2006 and 2007. As Andrews Kurth’s Chairman, he serves on the firm’s Executive Committee, remains a co-chair of the Women’s Initiative Team and serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee.
“Because of Howard’s steadfast leadership, Andrews Kurth has achieved many successes from an inclusion standpoint,” says Managing Partner Bob Jewell. “He helped to make Andrews Kurth a nationally recognized leader in implementing corporate diversity and inclusion strategies into the legal profession and, as a firm, we are continuing to build upon his vision for what makes a successful organization.”
The Texas Diversity and Leadership Glass Ceiling Awards Breakfast will start the first full day of events at the Texas Diversity Council’s Fourth Annual Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference & Exposition. Keynote speaker for the breakfast will be Dee Dee Myers, former White House Press Secretary and author of Why Women Should Rule the World.
For more than a century, Andrews Kurth has built its practice on the belief that “straight talk is good business.” Real answers, clear vision and mutual respect define the firm’s relationships with clients, colleagues, communities and employees. With more than 400 lawyers and offices in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New York, The Woodlands and Washington, D.C., Andrews Kurth represents a wide array of clients in all areas of business law. For more information about Andrews Kurth, please visit andrewskurth.com.