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. Maryanne Lavan, General Counsel, Lockheed Martin

Inside Counsel

Maryanne Lavan, LCLD Member and General Counsel of Lockheed Martin, discussed her career path, being a general counsel, and diversity. She says she became a lawyer because “I came to appreciate the power of law and its potential to shape and impact people’s lives.” Lavan also discusses the importance of networking for women, how she looks for diversity in the firms she hires, and her work as the executive sponsor of Lockheed Martin’s LGBT Forum. “It has been rewarding to see how both the mindset and dialogue have changed in the company as a result of the forum and our commitment to the LGBT community.” 

2. Three LCLD Fellows Alumni Celebrate Their Firm’s One-Year Anniversary

LCLD Communications, 9/23/15

In September of 2014, LCLD Fellows Alumni Katherine Huang, Joseph Ybarra, and Carlos Singer joined colleague Aaron May to launch a Los Angeles-based boutique law firm. In the last year, the firm was certified as a minority-owned law firm, had many successful cases, and added a fifth partner. “The Fellows Program is a unique program…that really emphasizes leadership training and deepening your connections with your colleagues,” said Carlos Singer, HYSM Founding Partner, 2012 Fellow, and new LCLD Member. “It’s had this very tangible, positive influence on the way we approach our careers.” 

3. A Toxic Work World

The New York Times, 9/18/15

Today’s workplace culture only works for the young and childless, writes LCLD diversity partner Anne-Marie Slaughter. Most workplaces place the highest value on hours worked, rather than quality of time worked, and directly or indirectly penalize employees who take time to care for their families. This makes work-family balance virtually impossible to sustain for many, but especially women. “We can, all of us, stand up for care,” Slaughter writes. “Until we do, men and women will never be equal; not while both are responsible for providing cash but only women are responsible for providing care.” 

4. Pentagon Promotes ‘Lean In’ Groups to Boost Women’s Leadership

Reuters, 9/21/15

The U.S. Defense Secretary announced this week that the Pentagon would endorse discussion groups aimed at increasing the number of women and minorities in military leadership roles. The discussion groups will center around “Lean In,” the bestselling book on assertive female leadership by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Women make up about 15 percent of the U.S. military, but leave the profession mid-career at twice the rate of their male counterparts. The department views “Lean In” as a “proven model for inspiring collaboration and helping people reach their professional goals.” 

5. Everett C. Parker, Who Won Landmark Fight Over Media Race Bias, Dies at 102

The New York Times, 9/18/15

Rev. Everett C. Parker, a civil rights activist who won a landmark broadcasting case, died last week at 102. In the 1960s, a minister and director of communications for the United Church of Christ, Parker surveyed radio and television stations for racist programming; he found that while 43 percent of viewers of one station were black, the only blacks shown on TV were in police custody, and the station often made racist comments. After several appeals, Parker ultimately won a case to have the station’s license revoked and the F.C.C. brought to task for allowing racist programming. The case had lasting implications for civil rights and communications, and Parker became known as “the dean of civil rights reforms in broadcasting.”

6. Empathy Is Still Lacking in the Leaders Who Need It Most

Harvard Business Review, 9/21/15

“Empathy enables those who possess it to see the world through others’ eyes and understand their unique perspectives.” In many ways, it’s the bedrock of emotional intelligence, and sets the stage for cultural competence and understanding of both audiences and employees. Many leaders are lacking in empathy, yet it should be viewed as a business asset. 

7. The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration 

The Atlantic, October issue

Published in 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan's report "The Negro Family" blamed poverty and other social issues on a deficit of employed black men of strong character. The report advocated no specific policies to combat the crisis, yet the government's response was ultimately to incarcerate more and more black men. "Among all black males born since the late 1970s, one in four went to prison by their mid-30s; among those who dropped out of high school, seven in 10 did." The mass incarceration of black men has far-reaching consequences for black families, and for the American economy and society as a whole.