Zendesk legal team earns Mansfield 2.0 Certification for its commitment to diversity

Published November 1, 2022
Last updated November 3, 2022

Our legal team has been recognized for its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion after participating in the Mansfield Rule, a certification program by Diversity Lab that was first piloted in 2017 and designed to boost the representation of women and minorities in the legal profession. The team is one of only 40 legal departments and law firms in the U.S. to successfully achieve Mansfield 2.0 Certification this year.

“This achievement is a testament to our company values and shows how committed we are to supporting DEI,” said Shanti Ariker, SVP, General Counsel at Zendesk. “Attaining this certification is hard work, and it is an honor to share what we have achieved over the course of the two year-long certification cycle. I’ve witnessed first-hand the concrete steps our team has taken to implement changes that will positively impact not only the legal department, but the entire company for years to come.”

The Mansfield Rule has become the standard for legal departments and firms to track and measure their success in increasing diversity. Gaining 2.0 Certification means our legal team considers candidate pools consisting of at least 50% women, minority, LGBTQ+ and disabled lawyers for job openings, promotions and leadership opportunities.

Zendesk’s legal, talent acquisition and global DEI teams worked in tandem to establish processes and metrics including:

  • Launching its Functional DEI Action Plan, a roadmap with clear representation goals and detailed commitments for attracting, developing and retaining underrepresented talent.
  • Direct sourcing applicants targeting underrepresented groups using a variety of search tools and methods.
  • Embracing the company-wide Inclusion in Action goal of presenting at least two underrepresented persons to the hiring manager for every open role within the legal function, achieving 100% compliance in 2022.
  • Implementing processes to monitor sourcing strategies and ensure diverse talent, and track the sources of hires to monitor effectiveness and improve the approach.
  • Investing in additional seats in leadership development programs for underrepresented talent groups to ensure a higher level of participation across legal functions.

“While we are proud of this certification as a marker of where we are, we are not stopping or slowing down our efforts,” said Ariker. “There is more that we must do both inside and outside of our legal team and Zendesk to reach our goals and maintain certification. We are already working toward Mansfield 3.0 Certification.”

Diversity Lab launched the Mansfield Certification program, named after Arabella Mansfield, the first female lawyer in the U.S., nearly five years ago. It was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires every team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies.

Zendesk is committed to fostering a diverse workplace where employees feel empowered and comfortable being their authentic selves. This requires being intentional about how we attract, retain, and develop our people. To learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, please visit here.