Action Step – All Key Processes Must Consider Caregivers

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.

More organizations have implemented policies and procedures to support caregivers before, during, and soon after leave. According to our 2022 Benchmarking Study, nearly all law firm participants have gender-neutral leave policies, off- and onramping policies (transition to and from leave) are common, a number of resources are offered to parents (i.e. shipment of breastmilk; coaching; childcare; adoption/fertility resources), and strides have been made in a number of aspects of these policies and offerings. Further, more organizations have expanded “caregivers” to include caregiving of children, elderly relatives, and those with medical needs. However, the 2023 American Bar Association Study shows that biases and inequities for caregivers, especially mothers, extend far past returning from leave1. To truly support caregivers, organizations must make sure that all their key processes contain intentional structures to ensure that caregivers are fairly treated.

  1. Hiring. First, organizations must track their hiring process to see if any inequities exist for caregivers, broken down by gender and seniority. Compared to other candidates, see if there are any differences when looking at caregiver candidates at each stage of recruiting (i.e. interview selection; offers extended; and offers accepted). Next, organizations need to put structures in place to ensure equity. Make sure caregivers are consistently represented in your interview panels and hiring committees. Also, train your interviewers and provide guidelines on what to ask and what not to ask during interviews….

1Legal Careers of Parents and Child Caregivers,” American Bar Association (2023).

Members: continue reading this Action Step in the Member Resource Center

To read this entire Action Step become a member of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. To learn more contact Manar Morales.