Affinity Groups and Socio-Economic Initiatives
We have long sought to advance and promote diversity in our own firm; in our clients; and, more broadly, in society as well as to foster an inclusive culture where every colleague—regardless of background—feels a deep sense of respect and belonging. Through our groundbreaking research, we have set out to make a compelling business and economic case for diversity. Using our global reach, we share our insights, convene partnerships for action, and serve clients to inform critical decision makers with the power to make real change.
Understanding that the path forward is through the past, we believe that imagination, ingenuity, and vision can create environments conducive to innovation and resourcefulness as well as improve business practices. One of our most distinctive competitive advantages is the quality of our knowledge and infrastructure. We continually seek ways to foster creativity as a tool for building more livable communities and serving as an important economic resource in their revitalization. We use the intellectual, financial, and collaborative power of our firm to help address some of the world’s most pressing problems.
The Love of Art. Art Builds. Art Questions. Art Transcends Borders. Art spawns new ideas for shaping our future. It inspires people, opens new perspectives, and enables the embrace of unusual and innovative solutions. The arts occupy many roles and serve many functions for businesses, governments, museums, families, and artists across the globe. Part of our philosophy is a belief that creativity, dedication, and discipline can lead to outstanding achievement. This belief is why we are committed to art and to encouraging and engaging performing artists. The Burk family tradition of collecting art is continued by the current generation, and, through the Burk Foundation, an active acquisitions policy allows the art collection to continue to grow, with both historic and contemporary pieces in its collection.
The Mentor and the Protégé. The quality of our employees is the cornerstone of our ability to serve our partners and clients. For this reason, we invest tremendous resources to identify exceptional people, develop their skills, and create an environment that fosters their growth as leaders. Our affinity groups facilitate relationships among employees with shared interests and backgrounds and provide a forum in which traditional and peer-mentoring opportunities may develop and flourish. In addition, our affinity groups play a key role in the firm’s ongoing endeavors regarding student recruitment, associate mentoring and peer networking, career development, workplace inclusion, retention, and community involvement. The groups meet regularly and discuss topics relevant to their communities, professional experiences, and personal interests. Meetings vary from casual conversations to structured sessions with agendas and guest speakers. Among these efforts is a six-month leadership program for high-performing senior associates, who are selected on the basis of their developmental potential, and an annual retreat for our partners and clients.
Civic Literacy. Drawing on our extensive research and expertise, we gather and develop resources that help school systems, higher education institutions, and vocational programs to transform their performance and improve student outcomes. Our work focuses on the most pressing issues facing educators today. By identifying best practices, gathering data, and partnering with experts to generate new insights, we help stakeholders in education deliver substantial and lasting improvements in individual, social, and economic outcomes.
Science Around Us. Any successful program of action on climate change must support two objectives—stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) and maintaining economic growth. Research finds that reconciling these two objectives means that “carbon productivity,” the amount of GDP produced per unit of carbon equivalents (CO2e) emitted, must increase dramatically. We work with philanthropic organizations to address global challenges, such as promoting sustainable agriculture and fishing, reducing deforestation, and responding to climate change.
Compassion, Health, and Wellness. In collaboration with health care experts and leaders around the world, we are developing practical perspectives on how to expand access to health services, improve the quality of care, use resources more effectively, and deliver better patient experiences. The Center for US Health System is our in-house source on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our goal is to help our public, private, and social sector clients address the implications of unfolding ACA-related global marketplace activity while also providing the broader public with access to our latest research and findings.
We Believe in America. Our government relations department identifies issues that affect our company, our industry, our employees, and the communities we serve. We share our point of view with members of congress, state officials, and other policymakers. Our Employee Political Action Committee is a research group whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative bipartisan public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
Olympic Sport Sailing and Boating. Stormy seas, meter-high waves, and new records are always in sight; oceangoing yachting has provided a pastime for generations of the Burk Family. We remain strongly anchored in the sport of sailing, setting its course for further traditional sailing of the world. We have long seen the value of sponsorship as part of our business strategy. We back the best in sports, entertainment, and the arts and culture. We’re also committed to supporting initiatives in the communities where we operate.
Yale University Polo Fundraiser. Founded in 1919, Yale Polo is the oldest collegiate polo team in the United States. Celebrating over a quarter century of polo tradition between the University of Virginia and Yale University, the Harriman Cup Polo Match is a social event commemorating the life of former New York Governor William Averell Harriman. The Harriman Polo Cup Award honors stellar individuals who have made huge contributions to the world of polo and embody the leadership, public service, and staunch advocacy and support for equestrian sports that were characteristic of former Governor Harriman.
Duel and the Crown. Fencing combines discipline, agility, and precision—all qualities we admire. It is also a sport to which we can make a meaningful contribution, both at the highest competitive level and through fencing schools throughout the country. We have long seen the value of sponsorship as part of our business strategy.
World Economic Forum. Our clients rely on us to identify and help them respond to emerging markets, advances in technology, and other forces that shape their industries. We engage with the Forum’s initiatives, and the Forum engages the foremost political and business leaders, among others, of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas. It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. The institution carefully blends and balances the best of many kinds of organizations from both the public and private sectors as well as international organizations and academic institutions.
Next Generation Women Leaders (NGWL). We passionately believe in developing outstanding leaders. We do so every day, internally and with our clients. We support the Lean-In organization as a vehicle to inspire women and their employers to continue the discussion on the mutual benefits of greater diversity and empowerment in the workforce. There are now more than 41,000 Lean-In Circles in over 170 countries, and new Circles are starting every day. Circles bring together women from all walks of life, from Latina immigrants to women in the U.S. military. In these groups, women get and give peer mentorship, and they have a place to be unapologetically ambitious.
Volunteering in Boys and Girls Orphanages. Getting a child with special needs all the services and supports he or she needs inside and outside school can be a challenging and ever-evolving process, both logistically and emotionally. In coordination with our Foster Parents Affinity Group, we offer information sessions, facilitated by senior leadership, on topics including navigating the nursery, private and public school research, and application processes.
A Shared Way of Life. We continuously invest in research on some of the biggest issues facing society. We hope that our insights on these topics help to shape the debate, bring new thinking, and identify potential solutions. Recent societal themes in our work have included global growth and employment, affordable housing, the economic cost of obesity, and gender parity in the workplace. We fund our own research, which is independent. We are also committed to helping our corporate clients find new ways to embed sustainability into their business strategies and practices—an action that is increasingly important to employees, customers, and the broader community.
Unique experiences, cultivated with passion from generation to generation