Action Steps


 

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.

Since the pandemic, organizations have increased their acceptance of workplace flexibility significantly. Greater workplace flexibility has many business benefits, including improved well-being. However, organizations need to invest in a number of additional solutions to truly enhance well-being. As with workplace flexibility, employee well-being has numerous far-reaching organizational benefits, including better productivity and engagement. Our recommendations regarding critical
organizational solutions to truly move the needle on employee well-being are as follows:

  1. Enhance Autonomy & Control. Give employees more control over their schedules and projects to increase their autonomy, which is associated with higher levels of well-being.
    • Increase control over work schedules: If possible, create workplace flexibility policies that allow employees some control over their schedules. Offer as many flexible work options as possible so employees can utilize what works best for them…..

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.

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.

Delivering effective feedback is critical to developing and enhancing employee performance and engagement. Most organizations and leaders know and understand the importance of feedback. The vast majority of organizations have an annual performance evaluation process, where employees receive feedback on their areas of strength and development over the year. While annual performance evaluations are necessary, feedback needs to be given much more regularly – even daily. According to research, employees who receive daily feedback are 3x more likely to be engaged than those who receive feedback once a year or less.

However, unconscious bias can negatively impact our ability to provide fair, objective feedback. Common bias patterns that impact feedback may include:

  • Confirmation bias – looking for information to confirm pre-existing opinions about someone’s abilities;
  • Recency Bias – overemphasizing someone’s most recent mistake and ignoring their overall track record……

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.

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.

Many organizations are creating and revitalizing their affinity groups, also known as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), to foster connections, build community, and provide career development opportunities.  Further, affinity group and ERG leaders can serve as advocates as they gain insights from their members about what’s working and what needs to be fixed.  To be successful, affinity groups/ERGs need engaged leaders.  Organizations can provide affinity group/ERG leaders with the right support and resources to foster engagement in the following ways:

  1. Clarify Purpose & Broader Goals:  To truly engage affinity group leaders, organizations should begin by sharing their broad business objectives and DE&I goals. Affinity group leaders need to understand what the organization is trying to achieve in the short- and long-term. Next, affinity groups need to come up with their strategic vision that amplifies the core mission of the affinity group. Through this collaborative and strategic approach, organizations can cultivate an environment that supports the growth and success of its affinity groups…

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.

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.

Our 2023 New Partner Report and 2024 New Partner Summit highlighted positive data and trends in the advancement of women in law firms last year. Significant metrics were robust; notably, the share of women among U.S.-based new partners increased substantially by 3.5%, and the nation’s top grossing AmLaw 50, AmLaw 100 and AmLaw 200 firms demonstrated similar increases in the shares of women new partners. We should celebrate these bright spots and wins. However, we should also proceed with caution, as the results of our 2022 report were quite concerning; specifically, there was a decrease in the share of women new partners from the 2021 figure, and a significant year-over-year dip in the share of women new partners at the nation’s top grossing AmLaw 50 firms.1 We must ponder whether this year’s strong data demonstrates true upward momentum in gender parity, or whether it is simply adjusting for last year’s troubling results. Further, we are concerned with current market responses, including layoffs, deferral of incoming attorneys, and tightening of hybrid work environments, and how these responses will impact women in leadership in future years.

1 The share of women among new partners was 40.2%, demonstrating a 0.7% decrease from the previous year’s figure. There was a significant year-over-year dip of 4.2% at the nation’s top grossing AmLaw 50 firms. The average new partner class increased substantially – 14.1 attorneys in 2022 vs. 11.7 attorneys in 2021.

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.

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.

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.

Our 2023 Annual Conference, “Humanizing the Workplace: Thriving Beyond the Global Reset,” was our first in-person conference since the pandemic and included a variety of programming, inspirational speakers, networking opportunities, and insightful panels. Participants should reflect on new ideas, innovative trends, and creative solutions and think about how to apply them to their organizations. Some of our top takeaways from the Conference are as follows:

  1. Remember “Equity, Inclusion & Belonging” in DEI&B: Throughout the Conference, many speakers pressed on the importance of DEI&B coming from the top to make an impact throughout the organization. Various speakers discussed different ways to do so. For example, organizations that include DEI&B leaders in Executive Committee meetings encourage awareness of DEI&B implications. Additionally, leaders in the talent and DEI&B space will have a greater ability to make a difference by holding a senior title, such as Partner, Chief and/or Managing Director.

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.

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.

Many organizations utilize surveys to gather employee feedback regarding D&I, talent and workplace flexibility. Surveys are an efficient way to take the pulse of your workforce and to make sure management hears all voices when launching, revamping or ending programs, policies and practices. Organizations should conduct regular surveys on their D&I, talent and workplace flexibility programs to make sure they are iterative and improved upon appropriately. The following are our recommendations with surveys:

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.

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.

Our 2022 Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Study (“2022 Study”) found that hybrid/virtual work (80.9% in 2022 Study vs. 48% in 2019 Study) has significantly increased over the years. The pandemic enhanced acceptance of and demand for hybrid/virtual work. There are many provisions and considerations to keep in mind when drafting your policy. Below are the Alliance’s recommendations when creating your hybrid/virtual work policy…

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.

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.

Our 2022 Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Study (“2022 Study”) found that the prevalence of formal reduced hours policies remained high (91.2% in our 2022 Study vs. 90% in our 2019 Study). Additionally, our 2022 Study demonstrated that other forms of flexibility have significantly increased since the pandemic, namely hybrid/virtual work (80.9% in our 2022 Study vs. 48% in our 2019 Study) and flexible start-end times (69.1% in our 2022 Study vs. 24% in our 2019 Study). The pandemic increased acceptance of and demand for hybrid/virtual work and flexible start-end times. While most organizations currently have reduced hours policies in place, these policies need to be reviewed and revamped to make sure that they still work effectively considering other flexible work and hybrid policies. Below are the Alliance’s recommendations for creating and revamping reduced hours policies in today’s workplace:

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.

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.

Many organizations have moved to a hybrid environment since the pandemic. The pandemic enlightened leaders and employees on the many benefits of hybrid work, including productivity, profitability, business continuity, work-life control, and wellness. However, a hybrid work environment requires responsibility, intentionality, and support to succeed. Bias is more likely to creep into a hybrid environment. Specifically, you must watch out for proximity bias, in which leaders favor workers that are in the office more frequently than employees who tend to work virtually. Additionally, a hybrid environment will likely compound other biases, including similarity bias, an affinity to people who have “similar interests, experiences and backgrounds,” and confirmation bias, the tendency to focus on information confirming beliefs and prejudices.1 Organizations, leaders and individuals must work together to interrupt these biases to create a successful hybrid environment:

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.

1 Tsipursky, Gleb. “The psychology behind why some leaders are resisting a hybrid work model.” Fortune (June 8, 2021). https://fortune.com/2021/06/08/return-remote-work-hybrid-modelsurveys-covid/