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, Alabama counties are divided over same-sex marriage and LCLD Chair-Elect Laura Stein shares her experiences and thoughts on diversity in the legal profession.

1. Laura Stein, General Counsel, Clorox 

Inside Counsel, 2/10/15

“Do your day job fabulously, but also play a role in making our profession better,” said Laura Stein, LCLD Chair-Elect and General Counsel of The Clorox Company. “Give back by engaging in pro bono activities, driving diversity initiatives and supporting the rule of law and the important role it plays in our society.” In the interview, she also shares advice for women in the profession and discusses the importance of diversity. 

2. Speaking Up as a Woman of Color

Forbes, 2/10/15

More than one third of women of color feel they have to play down their race to succeed at work. As women, they already face numerous pressures – like not to speak up during meetings – which can in turn be compounded by racial stereotypes. However, the women of color interviewed here encourage others to fight negative backlash by continuing to speak up. 

3. Gay Marriage in Alabama Begins, but Only in Parts

The New York Times, 2/9/15

Alabama counties are split on gay marriage, as the State Supreme Court Chief Justice ordered judges to ignore a federal ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Cities like Birmingham and Montgomery are already issuing marriage licenses, but up to 52 counties refuse to process the paperwork. 

4. Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee

The New York Times, 2/6/15

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook CEO and author of Lean In, describes the ways gender stereotypes play out at work: even at the highest ranks, women are expected to take care of "office housework," while still handling their actual jobs at the same level as their male coworkers.

  • “Professional women in business, law and science are still expected to bring cupcakes, answer phones and take notes.”
  • Men who stayed late and helped prepare for an important meeting were rated 14 percent more favorably than women. Conversely, women had to help just to get the same rating as men who didn’t help. 

5. Labor Pains

The New Republic, 2/3/15

Senior editor Rebecca Traister highlights the myriad ways professional women are penalized for having children:

  • Most women have babies in the middle of their peak earning periods, and face a 4 percent salary decrease for each child – compared to a 6 percent increase per child for men.
  • Women fear changing jobs even while considering a child because they’ll lose built-up sick days and other benefits.
  • Eighty-eight percent of American women receive no paid leave after having children.

6. Minority Powerbrokers Q&A: Sutherland's Juan Garcia

Law360, 2/2/15

2013 Fellow Juan Garcia, a Partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, was profiled for Law360’s Minority Powerbrokers series. He offers this advice to firms: "Do not have a diversity statement that simply says diversity and inclusion are important to the firm without having the internal checks and balances that require everyone to consider diversity and inclusion at every stage of the business model."

7. U.S. Economy Could Save $9B Annually By Creating Inclusive Environment for LGBT Employees

Forbes, 1/30/15

The world’s largest LGBT research project found that the United States could save $9 billion per year if organizations were more effective at implementing diversity and inclusion policies for LGBT staff, mainly due to increased retention.