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Beyond Diversity Inclusiveness In The Legal Workplace

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What is Inclusiveness?

What is Inclusiveness in the Legal Workplace? 

Inclusiveness is about an inviting environment for talent from all backgrounds as well as the equal opportunity for each person to succeed in a way that works for them. Inclusiveness makes room, not for different people to take a shot at the same definition of success, but for different people to actually create different definitions of success.  - Dr. Arin Reeves, Nextions LLC


Inclusiveness vs. Diversity: What's the Difference?
Many people use the terms "diversity" and "inclusiveness" interchangeably but they have very different meanings. Diversity efforts in the legal profession have been focused primarily on recruiting whereas inclusiveness focuses on the cultural, structural, and behavioral aspects of an organization and the retention of diverse attorneys. 

Watch CLI's 8 minute Quick Concept video:  What is the Difference Between Diversity and Inclusiveness?.

Diversity describes "compositional diversity" - the extent to which a legal organization has people from diverse backgrounds and communities working as attorneys and staff. Primary dimensions of diversity include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender expression. Secondary dimensions of diversity can include lifestyle, communication style, personality type, learning style, economic status, geographic origin, education status, generation, avocation, work experience, world travel experience, political views, philosophical views, parental status, appearance, veteran status, and nationality, among others.

Inclusive organizations value the perspectives and contributions of all people, and strive to incorporate the needs and viewpoints of diverse communities into all aspects of the organization. Inclusion is the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity in the organization. Inclusiveness employs a broad and inclusive definition of diversity that includes all dimensions of diversity, and specifically includes those in the majority in legal organizations - white, heterosexual men.

Chasing diversity statistics will not create an inclusive culture that yields sustainable diversity. Although the legal profession has worked very hard in recent years to open its long-closed doors to diverse attorneys, the profession's limited focus on diversity without consideration for inclusion has changed the open doors into revolving doors.  - Kathleen Nalty, CLI Executive Director


Inclusiveness = the Next Frontier for Diversity

CLI's innovative six-step inclusiveness manual and program gives individuals and organizations the tools they need to move from traditional diversity efforts to the new paradigm of inclusiveness. Learn more about inclusiveness in the free preview of CLI's Inclusiveness Manual and become a subscriber here.

What is Inclusiveness?
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