November 28, 2016 Articles

Diversity in the Bar: Where Are We and What’s Keeping Us from Going Further?

By Hope Thai Cannon

Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines diversity, simply, as "the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc." or "the state of having people who are different races or have different cultures in a group or organization."  We all agree that diversity is important (at least I hope that we can all agree on that fact). Diversity is essential to the effective growth and development of schools, neighborhoods, governments, and businesses. Ensuring diversity exists in the workplace is not only the right thing to do; it also increases a business's bottom line. Extensive research shows that companies that are both gender and ethnically diverse are more likely to outperform their peers. One of the most recent research studies in this area was conducted by Bersin by Deloitte in 2015. Press Release, Bersin by Deloitte: Diversity and Inclusion Top the List of Talent Practices Linked to Stronger Financial Outcomes (Nov. 12, 2015). The findings of the Bersin research appear in High-Impact Talent Management: The New Talent Management Maturity Model. According to those findings, organizations that welcome diversity, align their diversity and inclusion strategy with their organizational objectives, and integrate diversity and inclusion with learning, performance management, and succession management, had 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee over a three-year period.

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