In both law firms and other businesses, the conversation around organisational diversity is in many ways more fervent, active, and engaged than ever before.
Prominent figures in the profession make bold declarations about their belief in the positive contribution increased diversity brings, and firm websites are not considered complete without a visible commitment to improve their inclusivity. It would seem that everyone is aware of the problem, and is vociferous about their attempts to tackle it. However, the numbers show that the needle is barely moving.
The legal profession appears to be stuck at the point of discussion, and the measures that have thus far been implemented – which typically include token changes in company policy and written charters and agreements – can more resemble posturing than steps to achieve real change. The challenge, then, for any law firm which recognizes that diversity is a force for innovation and seeks to genuinely make a change, is finding those actions that do make an obvious and measurable difference.
What can be done, and where does one find the practical advice needed to instigate the change?
Packed with constructive guidance and compelling insight from industry experts and thought leaders, The Diversity Agenda: Lessons and Guidance from the Legal Profession seeks to provide the answer to these questions. Moving past the identification of an obvious problem, this book will instead offer effective solutions to those endeavoring to maximize their firm’s potential through the benefits diversification can bring.
The Diversity Agenda: Lessons and Guidance from the Legal Profession aims to supply a unique perspective from authors who have experienced institutional challenges and obstacles, providing proactive steps to take in order to negotiate them. Expert advice is also supplemented by real-world examples of pragmatic, effective and award-winning diversity initiatives that are being pioneered by both international and regional law firms.
Chapter 1: Where the rubber meets the road – tackling resistance to diversity
By Rosalie Chamberlain, consultant, leadership coach and speaker, and former diversity and inclusion manager of an AmLaw 100 firm
Chapter 2: Structural equity – key components for a successful inclusion initiative
By Sharon Jones, internationally recognized expert on diversity and inclusion and the legal profession
Chapter 3: Ahead of the curve – trans inclusion at Hogan Lovells
By Ruth Grant, partner and board member of Hogan Lovells and receiver of the 2016 “Woman Lawyer of the Year” and “Diversity Champion” awards
Chapter 4: Disability, a desirable disadvantage
By Yasmin Sheikh, consultant and vice-chair of Lawyers with Disabilities Division (LDD) at the Law Society
Chapter 5: The power of purpose – retaining women by promoting passion
By Karen J. Johnson-McKewan, partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and winner of the National Association of Women Judges’ Florence K. Murray Award
Chapter 6: The basics and beyond – raising the bar for LGBTQ diversity in the legal profession
By Wesley D. Bizzell, in-house counsel for Altria Client Services LLC and former president-elect of the LGBT Bar Association board
Chapter 7: The InterLaw Diversity Forum’s Apollo Project – a global focus on how to create meritocratic workplaces
By Daniel K. Winterfeldt, partner at Reed Smith and founder and chair of the Interlaw Diversity Forum
Chapter 8: “Access to the Bar for all” – putting our money where our mouth is
By Mia Hakl-Law, director of HR and operations, and Charlotte Ogilvie, marketing and communications executive at Garden Court Chambers
Chapter 9: Tactics for corporate engagement for LGBT + equality
By Todd Sears, founder and principal of Out Leadership