Tech Data GC: Diversity Critical to Problem Solving

Tech Data GC: Diversity Critical to Problem Solving

In March, wholesale IT distributor Tech Data joined 378 other companies and signed on to an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to harmonize discrepant state laws and rule in favor of same sex marriage.

“More than seventy percent of Americans live in a state that celebrates and recognizes same-sex marriages. But many states continue to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying,” the brief’s authors wrote. “This fractured legal landscape harms employers and employees alike.”

For Tech Data, one of the world’s largest wholesale distributor of IT products, the issue wasn’t just about economics. The company’s general counsel, David Vetter, noted that Tech Data has had an internal non-discrimination policy relating to LGBT employees since the early 90s, before the issue had really gained traction nationally.

“Signing on to the amicus brief wasn’t really a difficult choice for us,” Vetter said. “It was embedded in the genes of the company.”

According to Vetter, having diverse perspectives is all the more important for large, global corporations. “Internally, diversity is critical — everything from age, to race, to gender, to culture and background,” he said. “Being a multinational entity, a global entity, you need to have people that understand how things will be different in other departments.”

In addition to discussing diversity, Vetter, who was the first lawyer to work full time for Tech Data, and has been the company’s general counsel since 1993, recently spoke to Big Law Business about periodically asking law firms to justify why Tech Data should continue giving them business, and fly-fishing in his home state of Florida.

Read the first installment of the interview here.


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