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Diversity & Inclusion 2021: Carmen White

Diversity and Inclusion Manager

Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale

A one-time policy wonk and former U.S. Senate staffer, Carmen White has found a home as diversity and inclusion manager at one of the oldest law firms in St. Louis.

whiteThe career evolution is a natural one for the former policy analyst, who helped to develop and implement an equity initiative in the city of Tacoma, Washington that led to the creation of a city Office of Equity and Human Rights.

She joined Greensfelder in 2016, rising to a trusted role as a non-lawyer in a sea of JDs.

“Firm leadership puts significant confidence in Carmen’s abilities to take those initiatives to the next level,” her nominators say.

White’s duties include a focus on recruitment, retention and advancement, with a goal of building a more diverse workforce, whether through developing a pipeline of summer associates or via in-house and external career development.

Those efforts earned White recognition as a 2020 recipient of the Ronda F. Williams Service Award from Saint Louis University School of Law’s Black Law Students Association — an award typically reserved for practicing attorneys. 

What motivates you most in your work as an advocate for Diversity & Inclusion?

Law students. They are brilliant and remind me every day of why my role exists and for whom I am doing the work.

What makes you most proud of your law firm/legal practice? 

My firm is awesome and filled with genuinely good and smart people across the entire organization. I deeply appreciate how much they believe in equity, diversity and inclusion, the amount of trust they place in me and how supportive they are of what we’re trying to accomplish.

Who has most inspired you in your work for Diversity & Inclusion, and why? 

In recent years, I have become very inspired by the lives of my great-grandfather Jackson Gause and his sister, my great-grand aunt Larcenia Gause Taylor. Both were members of civil rights organizations and involved in efforts to register Black voters in west Tennessee, and they were active at a time when it could literally result in death. They persevered, so I think of them the most whenever I need a mental push.

2021 Diversity & Inclusion Awards