Insights (Blog) - Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

Action Step – Top 10 Takeaways Vital to the Success of Your Flexible Work Initiative

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility.  Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center

 

Recent news articles have highlighted a few companies that have revoked their flexible work policies citing a loss of teamwork and productivity. It’s likely these flex initiatives failed due to either a lack of planning, analysis, structure, communication, education, and/or tracking. When it comes to developing your organization’s flexible work initiative, there are key components that need to be addressed to ensure its success. Here are our top 10 takeaways to consider when developing your flex policy:

  1. Understand that Flex is a Real Business Benefit

The foundation of a flexibility initiative must be the business case. Why does flexibility matter to you, and how will it improve your numbers? (Think about recruitment, retention, and the bottom-line.) Even the most change-resistant organizations are realizing there’s a war for talent out there, and they must evolve to keep up. Research shows that non-stigmatized, flexible work strengthens organizations by increasing tenure among employees and leads to stronger client/customer relationships, better recruitment, and greater profitability. Flexibility is not about being nice to your employees or providing an accommodation – it’s a true business imperative.

  1. Count Your Regrettable Losses

The easiest way to formulate your business case for flexibility is to count your regrettable losses. How many valuable and talented employees have walked out the door because of a lack of flexibility? You can take the organization’s business case further by considering the opportunities the firm has gained because of its flexibility or lost because of its lack of flexibility…

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These Forty-Four Firms Are Demonstrating Their Commitment to Gender Parity
in the Legal Industry

As we announced in our 2017 New Partner Report, there were 44 firms that promoted 50% or more women in this year’s new partner class. Congratulations to these firms for their commitment to gender parity and for developing a top quality leadership team.

  1. Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
  2. Baker Donelson
  3. Covington & Burling
  4. Cravath, Swaine & Moore
  5. Crowell & Moring
  6. Debevoise & Plimpton
  7. Dorsey & Whitney
  8. Drinker Biddle & Reath
  9. Epstein Becker & Green
  10. Eversheds Sutherland
  11. Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto
  12. Foley Hoag
  13. Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
  14. Goldberg Kohn
  15. Haynes and Boone
  16. Hughes Hubbard & Reed
  17. Hunton & Williams
  18. Husch Blackwell
  19. Jenner & Block
  20. Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel
  21. Kutak Rock
  22. LeClairRyan
  23. Littler Mendelson
  24. Locke Lord
  25. Loeb & Loeb
  26. McDermott Will & Emery
  27. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
  28. Miles & Stockbridge
  29. Miller & Chevalier
  30. Morrison & Foerster
  31. Nixon Peabody
  32. O’Melveny & Myers
  33. Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein
  34. Paul Hastings
  35. Pepper Hamilton
  36. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
  37. Quarles & Brady
  38. Schulte Roth & Zabel
  39. Steptoe & Johnson
  40. Van Ness Feldman
  41. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  42. Weil, Gotshal & Manges
  43. Williams & Connolly
  44. Willkie Farr & Gallagher
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In Case You Missed It:
Dr. Lauren Rivera’s Fascinating Insights Into Social Class Bias in Hiring

 

Recently, we welcomed Lauren Rivera, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the author of Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs as our Signature Seminar Series presenter. Dr. Rivera shared her insights and advice on How On-Campus Recruiting and Cultural Fit Are Ruining Your Diversity and Recruitment Efforts.

In case you missed it…here are some highlights:

What Happened to the American Dream?

We like to think that America is the land of opportunity and anyone, no matter his or her background, social class, race or gender, can be successful if they work hard enough. However, research shows that social class in particular affects how far and how fast you’ll climb the economic ladder. Bottom line: From one generation to the next, Americans generally stay in the same social and economic class.

Bias in Recruitment is Damaging Your Diversity Efforts

Dr. Rivera spent a decade investigating the recruiting and hiring practices of professional services firms and law firms and came to the conclusion that elite students from wealthy, upper middle class families are most likely to get the elite jobs, regardless of achievement. Additionally, it was clear that the hiring practices of these firms were detrimental to diversity efforts and ultimately the financial wellbeing of the firms.

Three Factors Harming Your Diversity & Recruitment Efforts

  1. By limiting your recruitment efforts to on-campus recruitment at elite universities, the game is rigged towards students with high parental income and education at the most expensive institutions. You are therefore completely missing top students at less elite universities who may be just as qualified but often are from lower income families. Interestingly, at many firms, hires from the most elite schools are not staying long term, and therefore, are costing firms more money in recruiting and training costs.
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