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...
The Daily Report, 12/23/15
When LCLD Member firm Fisher & Phillips LLP found that some of its most promising associates were at risk of not making partner, the firm's Atlanta office designed a professional development program for associates. The program clarifies the expectations and offers guidance on achieving partnership. “It’s a very intentional way to guide people through the evolution from summer clerk to fully functioning first-year partner with more business than they can service on their own,” explained Atlanta Managing Partner Bert Brannen. At the program’s start in 2011, the eight associates tapped for participation billed a combined $334,000 for their own business; by 2014, their billings jumped to $2.5 million. Four of the eight associates have made partner while two went in-house and are now Fisher & Phillips clients.
New LCLD Member organization Intel Corp. surpassed its diversity goals for 2015, according to CEO Brian Krzanich. The company made a splash at last year’s Consumer Electronics Summit with a $300 million pledge to improve diversity, leading many other companies in Silicon Valley to announce new diversity goals. Krzanich announced that in 2015, 43 percent of Intel’s hires were women or minorities, passing its goal of 40 percent diverse hires.
Harvard Business Review, 1/4/16
A recent study of 700 U.S. companies found that “implementing diversity training programs has little positive effect.” This may be because enacting anti-discrimination policies makes organizations feel “safe” and therefore less accountable for discriminatory practices. How can companies avoid this? “In order to foster fair, inclusive workplaces, diversity initiatives must incorporate accountability… Diversity policies must be researched, assessed for effectiveness, and implemented with care so that everyone in the workplace can feel valued and supported.”
The Washington Post, 1/6/16
The oft-cited statistic on the gender pay gap is that women make 79 cents for every dollar men make, but this number doesn’t take into account the gender differences in education and career choices. While Indian women on average out-earn white, non-Hispanic men, women consistently earn less than men within their racial groups, particularly when controlling for education, experience, and career choice. Ultimately, debating the specific number is a distraction from the real problem, the author writes; it’s still a great concern for everyone “if women are earning less than men because women disproportionately shoulder childcare responsibilities, or because women are systematically guided into less remunerative careers.”
The Guardian, 1/5/16
Many hiring managers claim to hire “the best person for the job," yet unconscious bias and a tendency to hire people similar to oneself will create a homogenous workforce. An advertising and diversity expert offers the following solutions for managers:
- Hire based on the value a candidate adds to the whole team, rather than for a specific role, and view diversity as a crucial benefit for the group.
- Require diverse shortlists for all positions.
- Provide all those involved in the hiring process with unconscious bias training.
- Measure diversity at all levels as well as changes over time, particularly at the board level.