D&I WITHIN IN-HOUSE LEGAL TEAMS: TEN PRACTICAL STEPS
In the Framework Materials launched in April 2020 our In-House Working Group (now part of the wider Working Group) identified 10 Practical Steps to support the journey towards a more equitable, diverse and inclusive in-house legal function.
Since then Agile Teams drawn from across the Working Group, have expanded on the content.
The Practical Steps are drafted on the basis that the business seeking to implement them has already embraced the business case for D&I. If your organisation is not yet at this stage of its journey then we would recommend that you first refer to the business case materials (in particular page 2 of the Framework Materials.
Practical Step 1
Know your organisation’s D&I vision and strategy and develop one for your team, aligned to that for the overall organisation. Establish a framework to drive D&I in your organisation with authority and accountability (e.g. a D&I committee or champion(s)). Set short-, medium- and long-term time-based plans for D&I, with associated goals (e.g. gender diversity, cultural diversity, building an inclusive environment). For expanded material on Practical Step 1 see here
Practical Step 2
Hold your leadership accountable for implementing D&I vision and strategy, whether internally or towards suppliers, to create a strong and purposeful D&I culture in your organisation. Set individual D&I goals for leaders and review how those goals are achieved. Bring D&I to the regular agenda of your leadership team. Encourage role modelling and engagement, internally and externally. For Top Ten Tips to be an inclusive and accountable leader – see here.
Practical Step 3
Define short-listing criteria when recruiting, to ensure you consider a diverse slate of candidates when hiring. Ensure internal recruitment teams or external search firms have the right diversity expertise and hold them accountable for delivering high-quality, diverse slates of candidates. For expanded material on Practical Step 3 see here.
Practical Step 4
Integrate D&I in your talent programmes, retention measures and decisions about advancement. Create a culture where employees are encouraged to and feel accepted and valued when taking developmental positions outside their current area (e.g. expertise, geography) and ensure internal job postings are always published. Create a sponsorship programme for diverse talent. Promote a mentorship and/or reverse-mentoring programme. For expanded material on Practical Step 4 see here.
Practical Step 5
Promote work-life integration, flexibility and wellbeing. Advocate flexible working and provide technological support for mobility, disabilities and flexible working. Encourage people to bring their full self to work and permit flexibility in personal style and appearance. Consider committing to the Mindful Business Charter. For expanded material on Practical Step 5 see here
Practical Step 6
Ensure unbiased job design and classification and equitable compensation. Design roles in an inclusive manner to accommodate a diverse range of individual needs and potential candidates for roles. Create a broader sense of fairness through transparency about job classification, performance evaluation and compensation systems.
Practical Step 7
Invest in learning and educate your team to ensure they have a high level of D&I knowledge, competence and confidence. Integrate D&I into your onboarding and/or learning programmes, using different and accessible formats. Put special focus on (un-)conscious bias awareness training to manage bias when recruiting, assessing and promoting talent. Provide cultural competency training and support. For expanded material on Practical Step 7 here.
Practical Step 8
Measure your success: ensure that assessment, measurement and research regarding D&I guide your decisions. Conduct an inclusion survey and use the results to create a baseline and an action plan – measure annually. Introduce KPIs to follow the progress of your team’s D&I and track them regularly and hold leaders accountable. Study internal and external best practices and benchmarking to improve.
Practical Step 9
Be an advocate for D&I: make communication a driving force in your D&I goals. State your D&I aspirations, what you are doing and why you are doing it. Do so internally and externally, frequently and consistently, and always in an accessible way, in multiple formats and languages. Share your D&I survey results and statistics with your wider organization.
Practical Step 10
Make D&I a sustainable force in your organization. Recognize D&I as a key aspect of your culture and a contributing factor when announcing a success. Walk the talk but also acknowledge where you need to improve. This will increase awareness and accountability and will lead to sustainable cultural change. For expanded material on Practical Step 10 See here
Published on 27 Nov 23
- Social Mobility