Compiled for the LCLD Board of Directors every Wednesday, this digest is designed to brief you on the latest headlines about LCLD Members and organizations, as well as thought-provoking articles on diversity in the legal profession, talent development, mentoring, and leadership. Past issues of the Digest are also archived on the LCLD web site.

If you have questions about the Digest, or articles you'd like to share, please email Caitlin Puffenberger at

This week, in news related to diversity and inclusion...

1. UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Improving Access and Inclusion

Microsoft on the Issues, 12/3/15

LCLD Board Chair and Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote an article in support of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities for the Microsoft on the Issues blog. “More than ever, it’s clear that people with disabilities can achieve amazing things throughout their lives,” Smith wrote. “And more than ever, information technology needs to be a tool that empowers and enables people with disabilities to achieve more.” For Microsoft, this includes creating an inclusive culture that hires and supports persons with disabilities and designing products with persons with disabilities in mind. 

2. Law Firms Lose Talent In-House Because of Diversity, GC Says

Bloomberg BNA, 12/2/15

Sandra Leung, LCLD Member and former LCLD Board At-Large Vice President, spoke about diversity at Bristol-Myers Squibb during a panel for the New York City Bar Association. “My compensation is based on achieving diversity goals,” she said. “We struggle, we make a lot of excuses, but I put my direct reports to the fire and say…it’s important to us to remain competitive.” Leung also noted that diversity can be a point of contention between law firms and corporations; if corporations are providing more inclusive environments, then law firms must either step up or lose their diverse lawyers.

3. Why Diversity and Inclusion Will Be a Top Priority in 2016

Forbes, 12/6/15

“Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business statistically outperform their peers,” according to a two-year study from Bersin by Deloitte. The study looked at the practices of 450 global companies and identified 128 different aspects of talent management, of which those that focused on building an inclusive system had the highest correlation with the company’s business success. Key D&I strategies included:

  • Building an inclusive work environment with senior leadership commitment to D&I
  • Fairness in performance management and forced diversity in leadership and success management
  • Strong listening and communicating among all between employees and leadership

4. Diversity Makes You Brighter

The New York Times, 12/9/15

In a series of experiments in which diverse groups had to calculate accurate prices for simulated stocks, they founding that participants in diverse groups were 58 percent more accurate than in homogenous groups. Why? “By disrupting conformity, racial and ethnic diversity prompts people to scrutinize facts, think more deeply and develop their own opinions. Our findings show that such diversity actually benefits everyone, minorities and majority alike."

5. No Reason to Exclude Transgender Medical Care

The New York Times, 12/9/15

“A recent study by Johns Hopkins University found that providing transgender-related care is cost-effective in the long run because it generally reduces the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and other conditions that take a toll on well-being and productivity… Yet transgender Americans continue to face significant barriers to affordable medical care because of exclusions in health insurance policies and a scarcity of specialized providers."

6. Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, and Da

Harvard Business Review, December 2015

In the global business environment, negotiating across cultures can raise unforeseen challenges. It’s important to look for cultural differences in how to express disagreement, appropriate displays of emotion, and how trust is built. See the full article for a graphic on traditional cultural differences regarding confrontation and emotional expression.