Diverse, Inclusive Workplaces: A Strategy
In recent years, much has been written about the importance of creating diverse, inclusive workplaces to ensure the best possible business results. As with any other successful initiatives spearheaded by an organization, law firm inclusion requires a well thought-out strategic plan implemented by everyone who works in the firm. A strategic plan is key to achieving the structural and cultural changes that need to take place to make inclusion a reality.
As firms go about articulating their plans, they must remember the people in their organizations. Each individual has a unique, inimitable story that shapes how he or she experiences the organization and how he or she views the world. These stories hold a wealth of wisdom that, if shared, can change attitudes and behaviors.
Diverse, Inclusive Workplaces: A Story, Too
Storytelling—as a time-honored tradition—works to achieve a number of goals: to motivate, to galvanize, to inspire, and as a call to action. Partaking in a story —be it as teller or listener— allows us to open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to people’s lives.
I want to share with you my own story of being an African-American female attorney and the lessons I’ve learned. I recently authored a chapter in the book Building and Encouraging Law Firm Diversity: Leading Lawyers on Creating and Maintaining an Inclusive Firm Culture (Inside the Minds, an Aspatore (Thomson Reuters publication). I hope that by reading my chapter, “Micro-Inequities, Intersectionality, Covering, Diversity, and Talent Management: Lessons from One Diverse Attorney’s Experience,” you, like me, will see how a story can inform a strategic approach to improving law firm diversity initiatives.