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Total Articles: 30

Athletes and Employees Speak Out: Do Your Employment Practices Drop the Ball in Addressing Diversity, Controversial Speech, or Tensions at Work?

With the 2017-18 National Football League (NFL) regular season and National Basketball Association (NBA) pre-season underway, many spectators are excited to don their favorite players’ jerseys and cheer on their teams. Yet in recent years, many fans also find themselves equally entrenched in controversial debates that have little to do with who wins or loses the game.

Diversity Moving Forward - Summer 2017

For many of us, summer provides a natural break from the grind of life, with children on vacation from school and many of us taking time off from work to travel or spend time with friends and family. The lazy days of summer provide time to relax, reflect and recharge. We take time to reflect on our values and goals, and to consider what lies ahead, perhaps just over the next horizon. We are dedicated to ensuring that we are always on the right path. At FordHarrison, we are dedicated to ensuring that we are always on the right path. To do so, we implement the Three E’s: evaluate, educate and evolve.

Diversity Ownership: Does It Really Matter Who’s Running the Show?

For those organizations that don’t have a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion Officer, many continue to experiment with where to house their D&I efforts. HR? Legal? Operations? Which departments are driving diversity in most U.S. organizations today, and what are the opportunities and challenges associated with those choices?

Tackling Culture with Cash: The Dilemma of "Diversity Bonuses"

After more than half a century of corporate diversity efforts - and notwithstanding the best of intentions - companies are still grappling with the ability to promote and retain females and people of color in their leadership ranks.

The New Administration’s First 30 Days: Is Diversity Necessarily Under Siege in America?

Littler’s Cindy-Ann Thomas and Gene Ryu are joined by client-guest Enidio Magel to discuss the first days of the Trump administration. The three address the effects of the fiery and divisive debates that made their way into workplaces across the country during our most recent election season, and explore the arising diversity challenges.

Diversity & Inclusion at Littler – From the Inside Out

In this inaugural post to the Diversity & Inclusion podcast series, we discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion today for the organizations we counsel and how we help our clients with their diversity and inclusion efforts.

I Have a Dream of Workplace Diversity

Over 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed these historic words. Shortly after that, Title VII, the first civil rights legislation affecting the workplace was enacted, prohibiting employers from discriminating against individuals based on sex, race, color, national origin and religion.

U.S. and International Employers: Now Is the Time to Reaffirm Your Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

No doubt walking a difficult line in the wake of the election results, human resources professionals are tasked with cementing their companies’ position as equal opportunity employers.

Diversity Presentation at New York #SHRM Explores Employer Challenges

Against the backdrop of the Empire State’s Adirondack Mountains, stunning lakes and fall foliage that was just beginning to peek through this week, I had the privilege to speak at the New York State Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference, “HR Going for the Gold,” in Lake Placid, New York.

Diversity on Corporate Boards

The issue of diversity has expanded from the workplace to the corporate boardroom, with initiatives spearheaded by investors and other stakeholders to address the lack of diversity on corporate boards. These initiatives are likely to lead to pressure on companies to enhance their disclosures about their board members and take steps to diversify their boards. This article describes some of these board diversity initiatives and the steps employers can take now to address possible concerns.

Combining Professional Development and Diversity Departments: How One Change Can Make a Big Difference

In the fall of 2011, the leaders of Ogletree Deakins took a bold and strategic decision to combine the firm’s professional development and inclusion departments into a single department. In doing so, the firm actualized its commitment to effectively developing all levels and varieties of talent, regardless of how attorneys identify in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or disability.

How to Increase Diversity and Inclusion in Your Workforce

Having a diverse and inclusive workplace can bring a myriad of benefits, including an improved bottom line, an increased ability to serve customers and improved customer relations. Diversity can also lead to higher productivity as different types of people bring various skills and talents to table.

Employer Size Plays Dramatic Role in Workplace Diversity, Survey Indicates

XpertHR’s fall 2015 Workplace Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Trends survey provides numerous insights into the state of workplace diversity and inclusion, not the least regarding the dramatic variations in diversity based on employer size.

HR Intel: Hollywood Leads the Workplace Diversity Charge

Now that the #Oscarsowhite controversy is in the rearview mirror, elite Hollywood actors and talent agencies are leading the charge for more diversity in casting and production. Part of the renewed interest in diversity is undoubtedly a response to the black eye the industry suffered in connection with its most widely recognized awards show, but the other major motivation is – you guessed it – money.

How To Avoid Diversity Fatigue with These Diversity Success Insider Tips

Numerous headlines and reports lately diversity word cloudhave touted the business advantages of diverse C-suites and a diverse workforce. Here’s a sampling of just a few:

"I Have a Dream" of Workplace Diversity – 6 Laws Promoting Diversity in the Workplace

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Overview and Guidance on Final Joint Standards on Diversity and Inclusion

On June 9, 2015, several federal agencies jointly issued a policy statement on standards that companies could use to assess their diversity policies and practices, particularly for entities regulated by more than one agency. The Federal Reserve Board, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued “Final Interagency Policy Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies” as directed under section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Issuance of the Final Joint Standards followed a protracted two-year comment period. The Final Joint Standards, which were modified to some extent based upon the comments received, identify five categories for companies to assess their commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Final Joint Standards are entirely voluntary and do not create new legal compliance obligations—they are merely a “statement of policy.”

Creating an Inclusive Law Firm Culture: A Strategy and a Story, Too

In recent years, much has been written about the importance of creating diverse, inclusive workplaces to ensure the best possible business results. As with any other successful initiatives spearheaded by an organization, law firm inclusion requires a well thought-out strategic plan implemented by everyone who works in the firm. A strategic plan is key to achieving the structural and cultural changes that need to take place to make inclusion a reality.

Increase and Manage Workplace Diversity in Five Easy Steps

The US workplace has undergone a seismic shift in the last few decades and continues to become increasingly diverse. According to the US Census, by 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the United States. And since the passage of Title VII in the 1960s, women have entered the workforce in record numbers and now make up approximately 50 percent of all workers.

Final Standards Published for Evaluating Diversity Policies and Practices of Financial Institutions

In response to the perception that the financial services industry lacks diversity in its workforce, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act included section 342. This section requires each of the financial regulators to establish an office of minority and women inclusion (OMWI) and for that office to develop standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities regulated by each agency. To ease application, the agencies worked together to develop joint standards. The joint standards are intended to provide a framework for an entity to create and strengthen diversity policies and practices. The agencies include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Dodd-Frank Act's Diversity Policy Encourages – But Does Not Mandate – Specific Employer Action

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 20101 ("Dodd-Frank Act" or "Act") authorizes certain federal agencies to assess the "diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate."2 On June 10, 2015, six federal agencies ("agencies") issued a joint policy statement establishing standards for assessing those policies and diversity practices.3 While the policy statement provides a useful framework for identifying important components of an effective diversity and inclusion effort aimed at expanding employment and contracting opportunities for women and minorities and evaluating such progress, the analysis involves a voluntary compliance scheme that does not require employers to implement these standards.

Feds Set New Roadmap for Diversity and Inclusion in Financial Sector

Six federal agencies recently issued new standards for fostering diversity and inclusion in banks, mortgage companies and other employers regulated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.

A Commitment to Diversity in Practice Versus in Theory—Interview of Mel Jones, Skanska

Mel Jones is Northwest Diversity Manager for Skanska USA, a multibillion dollar international building and development company. Before joining Skanska, Jones was a civil engineer and owned his own engineering design company. As an African American business owner, Jones experienced the subtle-yet-real vestiges of race discrimination—quiet exclusion, “accidental” omission on project bid invitations, and specious excuses for opportunities denied.

The Diversity and Inclusion Punchline: How One Stand-up Comic Opened My Eyes to a Bigger Picture

The most mundane experiences can often leave a remarkable impact. My husband and I recently went out to see one of his new favorite comedians. We arrived at the outdoor music theater where thousands of people from various races, ages, genders, and cultures were in attendance. The comedian, who was white, took the stage and did something I was not expecting—he talked about diversity in a meaningful way.

Laying a Foundation for Diversity & Inclusion: A Case Study

In a previous interview, Michelle P. Wimes, Esq., the Director of Professional Development & Inclusion at Ogletree Deakins, identified challenges that diversity initiatives face and how to overcome them. Here, she describes how she laid a foundation for a successful diversity and inclusion program.

Who Got It Right?

Gallaudet University Chief Diversity Officer Angela McCaskill’s job was to promote a diverse and inclusive university community. Not only was she the institution’s first chief diversity officer, she was the first black, deaf woman to earn a Ph.D. from Gallaudet, which was founded to serve deaf and hard-of-hearing students. As Deputy to the President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, McCaskill’s job included fostering and advancing a strategic and integrated approach to diversity priorities in all aspects of university life and establishing diversity priorities. As Chief Diversity Officer, she was responsible for enforcing guidelines for the university that ensured equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Inclusion Is A Choice: How My Hindu Wedding Taught Me How To Promote Diversity

This past summer, I married my wife in a traditional Indian wedding. We were both born in America and it was important for us to have a wedding that not only celebrated our love for one another, but also celebrated our culture, traditions, and families. With that purpose in mind, we decided that we would include many of the Hindu rituals and ceremonies that were important to us in the celebration of not only our union, but the union of our families.

Overcoming Diversity Challenges—Interview With Director Of Professional Development & Inclusion Michelle Wimes

Michelle P. Wimes, Esq. is the Director of Professional Development & Inclusion at Ogletree Deakins. She leads the firm’s efforts to attract, develop, and advance diverse attorneys in the firm’s 45 offices across the United States and in Europe. Additionally, she lectures, publishes, and presents throughout the country on diversity-related topics.

Creating and Managing a Diverse Workforce.

For several years, employers in various industries ranging from high tech to agriculture have known that they face a potential labor shortage. Not only do employers need to add hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coming years, they also will need to fill existing positions each year due to the retirement of baby boomers and normal attrition. The labor shortage will be particularly acute in the area of skilled labor.

Diversity Training - Is It Really Effective?

With all the recent discussion about whether diversity training is actually effective, it is no wonder that some decisionmakers are feeling embarrassed to even approach the subject. The discussion has been raging for some time, but received major attention when a recent Washington Post article suggested that diversity training fails to accomplish its goals. The author reported that the number of women in management dropped by 7.5% following mandated company-wide diversity training. The number of African American men, Asians, and Latinos each also fell between 10 and 12% following diversity training.
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