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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This week, in news related to diversity and inclusion...

1. Greg Jordan, PNC Legal Honored by LGBT Bar Association

PNC, 4/4/16

Greg Jordan, LCLD Member and General Counsel of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., and his legal department received the National LGBT Bar Association’s Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award in March. The department was recognized for its commitment to creating an inclusive workplace and supporting the LGBT community, including hiring summer interns through the LGBT Bar Association, mentoring LGBT law students, providing pro bono services to the transgender community, and reviewing the diversity metrics of its outside counsel. “We have an expectation of inclusion in the communities we serve, the organizations and suppliers with which we partner, and the national legal marketplace as a whole,” said Jordan.

2. Identity 2016: Facebook Lets Blind People ‘See’ Its Photos

BBC, 5/5/16

LCLD Member organization Facebook, Inc. is taking an important step toward accessibility with a new feature that “reads” Facebook photos for the visually impaired. “On Facebook, a lot of what happens is extremely visual,” said Matt King, the engineer who helped develop the system. “And, as somebody who’s blind, you can really feel like you’re left out of the conversation, like you’re on the outside.” King lost his sight at a young age and wants to help visually-impaired people have equal access to online content. While the feature currently can only identify objects in photos, King and Facebook hope that it will eventually be able to “read” faces as well. 

3. LCLD Takes the Pathfinder Program to Scale

LCLD Communications, 3/31/16
After a successful pilot in 2015, the LCLD Pathfinder Program launched last week with 113 attorneys from 78 law firms and corporations. The program was designed to fill the gap between the 1L Scholars and Fellows programs, targeting associates and the youngest members of corporate law departments. “The LCLD Pathfinder Program helps by inspiring and nurturing the next generation of diverse talent, and we are committed to helping to scale its impact on both the participants and our profession,” said LCLD Chair Brad Smith

4. How to Sponsor Women (And Future History Makers)

On the MARC, 3/31/16

Sponsorship is a key way that people in positions of authority can influence the careers of women and minorities, by being an advocate for an individual in his or her career.

  • Actively seek out opportunities that align with her goals and priorities.
  • Speak highly of his abilities in both formal and informal settings.
  • Provide actionable advice for her to improve and progress.
  • Share unwritten rules of which he may be unaware. 

5. Making Exit Interviews Count

Harvard Business Review, April 2016

Many organizations view exit interview as a chore, but they can actually be an important tool for improving retention – and in turn, company performance. Use exit interviews to inform succession planning and talent management; understand how employees view the job and their peers; gain insight into managers’ leadership styles and effectiveness; solicit ideas for improving the organization. “The exit interview should be the culmination of a series of regular retention conversations with employees focused on organizational learning and relationship building. It should not be the first conversation a company has with an employee about his or her feelings and ideas.”