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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1. Forging the Path to Success: Supporting Diverse Attorneys through Leadership Development Training
PD Quarterly, May 2016
Carrie Fletcher, Executive Director of Executive Education at Harvard Law School, and Lori Lorenzo, LCLD Program Director, describe how the LCLD Pathfinder Program addresses “a leak in the talent pipeline.” The Pathfinder Program helps early-career attorneys develop skills in relationship building, leadership, and career trajectory management so they can combat bias, social isolation, and other factors that prevent many diverse attorneys from advancing in their careers.
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ABA Journal Podcast, 4/25/16
Simple adjustments to management and business systems can have a big impact on discrimination in the workplace, according to Joan Williams, Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings. These adjustments, which Williams calls “bias interrupters,” can occur in many operations, from hiring practices to assignments to performance evaluations. For example, because research shows that women engage in less self-promotion than men, Williams and her team have developed handouts to pair with self-evaluations that provide a framework to encourage women to speak up and remind managers to watch for their own implicit biases against women who do speak up.
3. If There’s Only One Woman In Your Candidate Pool, There’s Statistically No Chance She’ll Be Hired
Harvard Business Review, 4/26/16
Among equally qualified job candidates, if only one is a woman or a minority, the chance s/he will be hired is less than 1 percent, a study found. As the only female candidate, she deviates the norm, and hiring her often seems like a risky decision, researchers suggest. The same is true for minorities. However, when there are two women in the hiring pool, the odds of hiring a woman are 79 times greater; with two minorities, there is a 193 times greater chance of one being hired.
Since 2003, teams in the National Football League have been required to interview minority candidates for all head coaching and other senior level jobs (the Rooney Rule). The San Francisco 49ers are now making concerted efforts to interview a diverse slate of candidates, including women, for all full-time positions. “What we’re looking to do on the business side is really no different than what we do in the draft,” said General Counsel Hannah Gordon. “You’re looking to find the absolute best talent, and in order to do that, you have to make sure that you’re removing your own unconscious biases.”
EEOC News, 5/2/16
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced this week that under Title VII, the term “transgender” refers to an individual’s gender identity, rather than their sex at birth, and that employers cannot refuse them the right to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity. “Gender-based stereotypes, perceptions, or comfort level must not interfere with the ability of any employee to work free from discrimination.”