Collectively, these are important because it’s the right thing to do. An added perk is it can help firms grow and prosper. Here’s how.
1. IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTIVITY
Diversity and inclusion in the legal industry can increase productivity and performance within the profession. At the employee level, this might mean improved morale and less absenteeism. According to one study from Harvard Business Review,
if just 10% more employees feel involved, attendance will increase by about one day per year.
2. RECRUITING AND RETAINING HIGHLY COMPETENT PERSONNEL
Firms with diverse and inclusive work cultures attract more candidates and allow employers to recruit from a larger segment. This enables firms and other organizations to develop a highly qualified workforce capable of meeting their demands, resulting
in an increased capacity for dealing with complexity and innovation.
Diverse and inclusive work cultures have also been linked to higher employee retention rates. Employees who feel appreciated and respected by their employers are more likely to stay in their current positions for extended periods of time.
3. ENHANCED COMPETITIVENESS AND GROWTH
Firms with diverse and inclusive workplaces and practices may enjoy a better reputation in the broader community and increased access to a growing client base.
“Firms must actively promote diversity and inclusion through branding, conversation and creating quantifiable company diversity targets.”
A diverse team is knowledgeable about the areas and industries they represent and may assist your organization in expanding beyond conventional markets and consumers through culturally relevant marketing. A law firm or organization that displays diversity
gains a competitive advantage, allowing it to flourish and develop. Additionally, this provides an opportunity for individuals to advance their careers.
4. BOOSTED INNOVATION
Ideas do not materialize out of thin air; they are made by teams of individuals. The more varied the people involved are in terms of expertise, educational background, experience level, age, orientation, gender, origin, ethnicity and culture, the more
likely they are to get ideas in seemingly unconnected places. These concept pairings result in more unlikely and brilliant ideas.
It increases their passion for what they are capable of doing and redefines the limits within which they usually function while working in homogeneous teams. Additionally, a diverse group of decision-makers may help prevent poor judgments — decisions
that could alienate consumers, hurt the brand or hinder growth — simply by incorporating individuals who view the environment differently.
HOW TO ACHIEVE DEI
Legal management professionals must now more than ever lead by example. Consider these strategies for achieving DEI in your law firm or legal organization.
- Increase awareness: Dedicate time to cultivating a culture of self-awareness. It’s critical for combating bias and advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. When we become self-conscious, we are pushed to be more receptive and
aware of our feelings. This enables us to develop a higher level of emotional intelligence. As a result, we are predisposed to identify prejudices and value the diversity that exists in the world and the workplace.
- Use data and metrics: Measuring your efforts with diversity metrics targets is one of the most effective strategies to increase diversity and inclusion in a law firm. Therefore, other elements — for example, incentives for individuals who achieve
the goal — may align around them.
- Recognize and educate your staff about prejudice: It’s one thing to convey the importance of diversity to your staff as a legal administrator. However, it is unlikely to improve without concrete measures to identify and combat prejudice. Along
with providing team training on how to spot prejudice, build a procedure that allows each employee to learn about and become acquainted with the personal narrative of their colleagues. This information will aid in diversifying the firm's clientele
and growing the firm’s brand.
- Create a deliberate hiring strategy: If your objective is to improve your DEI efforts, you must have a plan to factor in diversity when hiring new employees, from attorneys to support personnel. Create a deliberate and comprehensive hiring strategy
consistent with your firm’s mission and values that also places a premium on diversity.
It’s not enough for legal organizations to simply create rules and initiatives for DEI. Firms must actively promote diversity and inclusion through branding, conversation and creating quantifiable company diversity targets. As a legal administrator, it’s important to make strides now so your firm may keep up with the growing demands of the legal profession.