Today’s legal workplaces need a diverse workforce in terms of knowledge, skills and heterogeneity to reflect the changes in society, the profile of the legal profession and client demands.
Diversity management goes beyond simple recognition or promotion of diversity. It involves greater commitment from leadership as part of their strategic planning, organizational culture, human resources management and clients’ relations. With effective management of diversity, a workplace will not only have the ability to attract and retain the best talent, but can save time and money in recruitment and turnover costs. It minimizes unhealthy tensions between co-workers and improves productivity. Furthermore, clients are increasingly looking for law firms that match their values and offer more culturally sensitive and informed services.
Hiring and retaining top talent from diverse backgrounds is becoming part of the practice and key to competitiveness. Consequently, developing strategies that welcome diversity is imperative to assure flexibility, efficiency and adaptability of the workplace to overcome workplace exclusions based on race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical ability.
Given the many dimensions of diversity, there is no easy or unique recipe to follow to manage it effectively, but there are a number of steps every manager or leader can take.