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, articles you'd like to share, of if you would like to subscribe, please email Caitlin Puffenberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corporate Counsel, 8/11/16
LCLD Member Teresa Roseborough, General Counsel of The Home Depot Co., has been instrumental in increasing the diversity of the company’s legal department. After joining Home Depot in 2011, Roseborough asked outside counsel to supply information on diversity along with their annual reports on prices and services, sometimes making “an explicit request for staffing.” Home Depot also makes it a priority to work with women- and minority-owned law firms and is increasing diversity within the legal department itself.
ABA Journal, 8/6/16
Paulette Brown, President of the American Bar Association and Co-Chair of Diversity and Inclusion at LCLD Member firm Locke Lord LLP, shared the findings of the ABA Commission on the Future of the Legal Services last week. The report found that “over 80 percent of the civil needs of lower-to-middle income individuals went unmet” and called on the legal profession to take greater steps to close that gap. The commission recommends that new technologies be used to improve the delivery and accessibility of legal services.
Harvard Business Review, 8/10/16
Current diversity and inclusion efforts are missing a key component, writes Pat Wadors, Senior Vice President at LinkedIn – an emphasis on belonging. “Our brains are hardwired to motivate us toward connection and belonging – it’s how we survive and thrive,” she writes. Research also shows that helping minorities feel as though they belong can lower their stress levels and improve their performance at work. Wadors gives several suggestions for generating a feeling of belonging within teams, but says one of the most powerful tools is simply to share stories – ultimately, sharing vulnerabilities generates a stronger connection than a company-mandated diversity initiative ever could.
The NFL has made progress in addressing implicit bias as it applies to coaches, but so far has not made efforts to apply it to the drafting process, where some say unconscious bias explains disappointing top draft picks in recent years. From the scouting process onward, racial and socioeconomic biases affect how the abilities and potential of players are perceived, both on and off the field. “The NFL’s talent evaluators, with few exceptions, grew from American soil and the racial stereotypes that flourish here. We can witness the power of their implicit racial bias by whom they select on draft day, rejecting some prospects who should be on their draft boards and shielding others who should be off.”
The New York Times, 8/13/16
Research makes it clear that men who get involved in workplace equality issues can have a major impact. Yet many companies continue to rely on women's conferences and trainings to achieve equality, writes executive coach and author Peggy Klaus. "Expecting biases and policies to change based on occasional training and motivational speeches is simply ridiculous," she writes. Instead, companies need comprehensive programs that focus on changing the culture as well as supporting women that work there.
The New York Times, 8/15/16
A new feature from the New York Times provides multiple perspectives on what causes the gender pay gap and how it can be closed. Suggestions include salary transparency (both past and present); getting rid of salary negotiations; and encouraging employers to look beyond equal salary to equal opportunity.