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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, in news related to diversity and inclusion, an Indiana law prompts discussion over LGBT discrimination and Microsoft announced a new paid leave policy to address the challenges of working families.
LCLD Communications, 4/1/15
A religious freedom law passed in Indiana last week has sparked debate, as many claim it allows businesses to discriminate against LGBT individuals. The discussion has also prompted several LCLD Member corporations to reaffirm their commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion.
The National Law Journal, 3/30/15
Wisconsin will pay more than $1 million in legal fees – the largest single payout by a state so far in a federal court – to the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation after unsuccessfully defending the state’s marriage ban. Earlier this month, the state of Indiana also agreed to pay $650,000 to the lawyers who successfully challenged the state’s same-sex marriage ban.
New York Magazine, 3/30/15
This week a former lawyer at a firm in Silicon Valley lost a gender discrimination lawsuit that was previously heralded as a wake-up call for the tech industry. Ellen Pao lost her case because she failed to prove she had been discriminated against; yet as this author writes, “the problem is that sexism today very often is not overt. It’s subtle, and that makes it all the more difficult to identify and root out.”
The Washington Post, 3/30/15
Indiana and its governor have received much flak over a new religious freedom law that may allow discrimination against LGBT individuals. While the exact intention and effects of the Indiana law are debatable, there are some more obvious statistics on the protection LGBT individuals receive: only 18 states and Washington, D.C., specifically prohibit discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The United Nations' International Decade for the People of African Descent launched a week-long discussion called #HerDreamDeferred, spearheaded by law professor Kimberle Crenshaw. The discussion centers on the challenges faced by black women and girls that are too often overlooked in larger discussions about black communities. “Many of the circumstances that we’ve come to accept as justifying an exclusive focus on men and boys are in fact directly related to the social-economic challenges facing their mothers—and those [in turn] are directly related to some of the challenges facing girls,” Crenshaw said.
Microsoft announced a new policy that will require its suppliers to give their employees at least 15 days of paid leave per year. “Over the past year there has been increasing debate about income inequality and the challenges facing working people and families,” said Microsoft General Counsel and LCLD Chair Brad Smith. “This has led us to step back and think anew about the types of benefits policies we want to have with our suppliers.”