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.
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University of Arkansas News, 4/13/16
The legal department at LCLD Member organization Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has committed $50,000 per year for the next three years to supporting the University of Arkansas School of Law’s summer diversity program. The program, which targets minority undergraduate students, includes an introduction to law school curriculum; exercises in critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills; and professional development in areas like job interviews, law school applications, and networking.
Just in time for Equal Pay Day, LCLD Member organizations Facebook, Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced that they have achieved pay equality for men and women. Across the tech industry, the difference in salaries between male and female software engineers is about 7 percent; overall, women in the U.S. earn about 78 cents for every dollar men earn. Intel announced pay parity earlier in 2016.
Above the Law, 4/8/16
Out of 11 industries, law firms are perceived as having the lowest commitment to diversity, according to a recent survey. Other industries included higher education, healthcare, entertainment, finance, and accounting; notably absent from the list was the technology sector. “The first thing law firms should do is recognize that diversity is a priority issue with the public,” said the lead researcher. This means it’s no longer just an internal issue, but something that could affect the talent a firm hires or the clients that hire them.
Harvard Business Review, 4/11/16
Making the “business case” for diversity may not be the best way to target Silicon Valley’s male whiteness, because despite being one of the least diverse industries in the U.S., it’s also one of the most innovative. For an industry built on creativity, growth, and the society of the future, more compelling arguments include the social good that results from a diverse workplace and the long-term financial benefits of a more stable society. Another compelling argument is the science that says positive emotions toward others encourage creativity and big-picture thinking, whereas negative feelings like bias and fear shut them down.
Harvard Business Review, 4/12/16
The GDP could rise by $2.1 trillion by 2025 if every U.S. state matched the highest-performing state in women’s participation in the workforce, the share of women with full-time jobs, and the mix of sectors in which women work, according to a study from McKinsey. Gender inequality stems from women's low representation in leadership positions, unpaid childcare, and low political representation, among other factors. In addition to looking at specific salaries, companies can work to achieve gender parity by increasing women’s representation in management positions, offering and promoting flexible work options, and fostering strong women’s networks.