ABA Executive Director Jack Rives announced on Sept. 15 that the association has signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge, joining more than 1,000 U.S. companies across many industries that have agreed to implement four commitments that seek to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
The ABA is the first bar association to sign the pledge, which was developed in 2017 by a collective effort of CEOs from an array of U.S. businesses and chaired by Tim Ryan, U.S. chairman and senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
“One of the ABA’s four core goals — Goal III — speaks to our longstanding commitment to eliminate bias and enhance diversity, equity and inclusion within our association, and throughout the legal profession and the justice system,” Rives said. “Our decision to sign the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge reinforces that commitment. We are proud to be the first bar association to sign the pledge, and we hope others, including legal employers, take notice and join us.”
According to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge steering committee, approximately 300 CEOs have signed the Pledge since June, up from the normal 20 new signatories per month. That boost comes in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in May that has sparked nationwide protests and a national conversation about racial inequalities in the U.S.
The Pledge outlines four specific commitments:
- We will continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion.
- We will implement and expand unconscious bias education.
- We will share best — and unsuccessful — practices. Each company has established programs and initiatives around diversity and inclusion.
- We will create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our board of directors.