What can you do as an in-house legal department in order to become more diverse and inclusive as a department and organization and embrace D&I internally and externally? Here are some tips:
- Make your own legal department diverse and above all, inclusive. Discuss and communicate about how you can do this as a legal team. Discuss behavior and take action.
- Make D&I part of your own mission and vision statement and set clear goals and try to measure changes in behavior and culture.
- Appoint a D&I ambassador within Legal: This person will follow trends and will be the D&I spokesperson for legal;
- Make D&I initiatives by in-house lawyers part of their personal goals and targets and create a D&I “wish-list”;
- The General Counsel and her/his team have an important role internally, being the so-called “ethical conscience” of the company and the trusted advisor of the Board and the Business. How can the Board and Business perform better on D&I? D&I will only work if the tone-at-the-top is positive.
- Work together with your D&I officer, the communication department, CSR and HR on this topic and reinforce each other’s efforts in this respect: how do you communicate externally on your D&I Strategy?
- Start small and initiate a D&I initiative and share your knowledge on the EQUAL in LEGAL Platform so that others can learn from your experiences AND collaborate with other parties with the legal industry.
- Example: invite diverse talent for internships and tell them about your job as an in-house lawyer;
- Example: set up a strategy to attract and retain divers talent and a strategy on being inclusive;
- Example: do an “unconscious bias” training at the upcoming global legal team meeting.
- Once you have set D&I targets for your legal department you can also collaborate with your legal service providers on this topic.
- Learn from common law initiatives and adjust it to your own culture so that it works. Credits to the Diversity Lab.