Bias is a much talked about and documented reality in the legal profession, especially when it comes to the dearth of women and people of color in leadership positions. While change has been glacially slow in improving diversity, equity and inclusion, there are ways to push the needle in the right direction.
A diverse panel shared solutions from their lived experiences at the Feb. 3 program “Extending Justice 2: Strategies to Increase Inclusion and Reduce Bias (A Focus on Gender),” sponsored by the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section at the 2023 ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans.
The program was the second installment of ABA presentations inspired by the book “Extending Justice: Strategies to Increase Inclusion and Reduce Bias,” co-authored by Bernice Donald, a retired judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, and panel moderator Sarah Redfield, a professor at the University of New Hampshire.
“When we have these conversations (about bias), you have to be a little uncomfortable. If you don’t push the envelope, then no change is going to be made,” said ABA President-elect Mary Smith in introductory remarks.
While the military has made great strides in diversifying its ranks in race, “gender is where the military really has had a challenge,” said Susan Upward, a lawyer and lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps.