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Are Law Firms missing the mark on gender diversity?

The recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey, highlighting 39 specific diversity initiatives was interesting to say the least.  According to Above The Law, the BCG report “surveyed roughly 17,500 employees and interviewed more than 200 senior executives at companies in various industries across 21 countries, seeking their perspective on 39 specific diversity initiatives.”  With the results, BCG, was able to reveal three main findings consistent with the overall responses.  In addition, “BCG delineated gender diversity initiatives into four clusters: Hidden Gems, Proven Measures, Baseline Measures, and Overrated Measures.”

For the three main findings, BCG reported the following:

  1. Law firms need to know which measures are the most effective in addressing diversity and inclusion problems. 
  2. Law firms need to understand their particular underlying issues. In many cases, senior leaders (particularly men) and the women who work for them have dramatically different perspectives on diversity and inclusion issues.
  3. Law firms need to test the ROI of programs and impose a minimum bar for new ideas. In other words, implementation is critical.

When taking a closer look at the four diversity initiatives, even more surprising results could be found.  For example, within the “Overrated Measures” category where “men rank the effectiveness of these measures as “high,” but women rate the effectiveness of these measures as “low.”, programs such as one time only training sessions, Incentives for senior leaders, and Establishing grievance systems were among the list.

Creating an inclusive environment is challenging but I believe surveys like this are good for organizations to learn and improve on current systems.  Hopefully more progress will be made within diversity and inclusion for Law Firms in the near future.

http://abovethelaw.com/2017/06/3-things-law-firms-must-understand-to-increase-gender-diversity/?rf=1

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