Learning about diversity is integral to unlocking the full potential of women at work. Trellis maintains a list of links to publications, research, websites, organizations and other third-party sources of information on the latest thinking on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

How In-House Counsel Are Raising The Bar For Law Firm Diversity

In an article in Above the Law Danielle Lackey, CEO of Cadence Counsel, discusses how law firms are prioritizing improving diversity within their firms. Lackey discusses how this change is being driven by external client pressure, changing U.S. population demographics and the near causal relationship between diversity and superior bottom-line corporate performance.

Danielle Lackey is the CEO Cadence Counsel. A women-owned business, Cadence provides variable staffing solutions to law firms and in-house teams. Prior to forming Cadence Counsel in 2013, Danielle practiced as a white-collar litigator at Latham & Watkins. She holds a J.D. with distinction from Stanford Law School and B.A. from Brown University, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.

Link: abovethelaw.com/2016/03/how-in-house-counsel-are-raising-the-bar-for-law-firm-diversty

Survey: Despite Progress in Recruitment of Diverse Attorneys, Attrition and Promotion at Law Firms Still Bleak

In March 2016, The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) and Vault.com released a detailed report highlighting the results of a national survey that shows some gains for minority and women attorneys in law firms but there remain stark and disappointing contrasts between diverse attorneys and their white counterparts. Key findings from the survey include:

  • The diversification of law firms continues at a slow pace, as minority lawyers now represent 15.0% of attorneys at surveyed firms, compared to 13.8% in 2007.
  • While the overall number of female lawyers has changed little over the last several years, women are gaining greater representation at the partnership and management levels, and their attrition rates are declining. In particular, the latest survey results provide encouraging signs of progress for women of color. However, despite these gains, less than 3% of all law firm partners are minority women.
  • While law firm equity partners are still predominantly white and male, newer ranks show greater diversity: one-third of all new equity partners in 2014 were either female or members of a minority racial/ethnic group.
  • Although Hispanic lawyers have made the most consistent advances, the number of Latino attorneys, relative to their overall U.S. population, remains far lower than that of other minority groups.

The full report highlighting some of the key findings over the last eight years of data collection is available on the MCCA and Vault websites. Click here to download a copy.
Link: nawl.org

Diversity as a Financial Competitive Adventage

Sheryl L. Axelrod, Esq., President of The Axelrod Firm, PC, discussed the strong business case for more diverse business models in her article, “Disregard Diversity at Your Financial Peril: Diversity as a Competitive Financial Advantage.” Axelrod stated, “The companies with the most women on their boards outperformed those with the least by 66% return on investment capital, 42% in return on sales, and 53%in return on equity.” The article originally appeared in Diversity and The Bar Magazine, the flagship publication of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

Link: theaxelrodfirm.com/newsletter/diversity-as-a-financial-competitive-advantage

Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey

A February 2016 study, released by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a nonprofit group based in Washington, and EY, the audit firm formerly known as Ernst & Young, found that despite the apparent economic benefits, many corporations are lacking in gender diversity. Having women in the highest corporate offices is correlated with increased profitability, according to the study of nearly 22,000 publicly traded companies in 91 countries.

Link: Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey PDF

Corporate America is not on a path to gender equality

Women in the Workplace is a comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. The study is part of a long-term partnership between LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company to encourage female leadership and foster gender equality in the workplace.

One hundred eighteen companies and nearly 30,000 employees participated in this 2015 study, building on similar research conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2012.

Link: womenintheworkplace.com

Interview with Sheryl Sandburg and Mary Barra

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and General Motors CEO Mary Barra are changing the face of business. As part of CNBC’s #Face-to-face series, a collaboration between CNBC and Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg and Mary Barra sat down to answer questions about how they approach leadership, philanthropy and innovation.

Link: Sheryl Sandburg and Mary Barra Interview