Why Your Diversity Initiative Is Irrelevant . . . and How to Fix It

By Joanne Cleaver, Melissa McClenaghan Martin and Dr. Anne Perschel

“Let me close my office door,” said the firm managing partner. That’s when we knew the truth was going to come out.

“Women keep leaving our firm,” he said into the phone. “We can’t figure out why. Everyone gets the same opportunities. We have a women’s initiative so the women can get together and hear from women partners. We give them extra business development and leadership training. None of it seems to make a difference. Women quit anyway. This can’t continue. What are we doing wrong?”

As consultants with complementary practices, we often collaborate to help professional firms diagnose and address vexing problems with retaining and developing women and diverse talent. We’ve seen too many misguided initiatives doomed from the start. They’re doomed because the initiatives are seen as add-ons: programs ancillary, not necessary, for the firm’s future. Continue reading

How Many Firms Will Follow Cravath’s Lead In Naming A Woman As Chair?

In June, Cravath announced that it would bump first year associate salaries up to $180k, and many firms followed.  In July, Cravath announced that a woman will chair Cravath for the first time in the firm’s history.  Given that her addition will make just four of the top 200 firms lead by women, I hope that other firms are as eager to follow suit.  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/14/business/dealbook/faiza-saeed-to-become-first-woman-to-lead-cravath-swaine-moore.html?_r=0

 

The Glass Ceiling Report’s Best Law Firms for Female Partners And Discussion Of Progress

What do you think?

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