Compiled for LCLD Members and the 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. Why Are Experienced Women Lawyers Leaving BigLaw? Survey Looks for Answers and Finds Big Disparities
A few highlights from a recent ABA study of more than 1,200 senior attorneys at top law firms:
- Women remain underrepresented in leadership roles and positions of power; for example, 80 percent of any given firm’s relationship partners for its top 20 clients are men.
- Women also report “being four to eight times more likely to be overlooked for advancement, denied a salary increase or bonus, treated as a token representative for diversity, lacking access to business development opportunities, perceived as less committed to her career, and lacking access to sponsors.”
- There are also disparities in the perception of firms’ commitment to gender diversity; 82 percent of managing partners and 91 percent of experienced men say their firms are “active advocates of gender diversity,” compared with 62 percent of women—with, 25 percent of women actively disagreeing.
View the full report here.
- “Instead of undervaluing and squandering black talent, [leaders] must recognize the resilience, robust sense of self, and growth mindset that, studies show, African-American people—as one of the most historically oppressed groups in the United States—bring to the table,” write Laura Morgan Roberts and Anthony Mayo. Harvard Business Review
- Steps organizations can take to improve representation of black leaders include promoting real conversations about race and better managing career development at every stage. Harvard Business Review
- For the first time since the company began releasing its diversity data, LCLD Member corporation Microsoft is sharing racial and gender diversity data by levels of management. Fortune
- The data, which shows that percentages of women and minorities decrease at higher levels, provides the “opportunity to do better,” says the company’s Chief Diversity Officer. Fortune
“Gender balance delivers better performance and returns,” writes Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of gender consulting firm 20-first. “If leaders are accountable to shareholders and stakeholders, gender balance is part of their mandate.” Harvard Business Review
“To just talk about what institutions are doing to diversify without talking about the social context in which they’re attempting to do this, it makes the whole thing so abstract, right? You have to connect the dots,” says author Pamela Newkirk. The Washington Post