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Total Articles: 30

Construction Industry Gaining in Diversity and Inclusion

Construction has long been a difficult industry for women, minorities, and LGBTQ+ workers as old ideas are slow to fade. The situation is starting to change. Both employers and labor unions increasingly recognize the value of diversity and inclusion and implement programs and practices to encourage members of underrepresented groups to join the building trades.

Teri Wilford Wood Speaks on Board Diversity

Ever since California enacted legislation in 2018 requiring a certain number of female board directors for publicly-held corporations with principal executive offices in California, board diversity continues to be a significant topic. Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Washington, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania have introduced or passed legislation or resolutions related to board diversity. Likewise, in November 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019” (H.R. 5084) related to, among other things, board diversity.

Rethinking Training – Bystander Intervention and Diversity & Inclusion Sessions

Asha Santos, Shareholder in Littler’s Boston office, explains the purpose of bystander intervention training and the value of diversity and inclusion sessions in today's workplace.

Shifting Demographics Require Greater Attention to Diversity

Shifting demographics threaten the ability of construction companies to staff projects. Many industry leaders identify worker shortages as a major problem and expect this issue to continue for the next several years. The share of employees in the industry aged 55 and older continues to increase. The next generation of workers, Generation Z, is significantly smaller than the generation of Baby Boomers that they will replace.

Diversity and Inclusion in Manufacturing: Practical Tips for a Successful Program

In this episode, Bud Bobber and Kimya Johnson discuss practical ways that employers in the manufacturing industry can address diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. They will cover unique challenges faced by manufacturers, best practices for developing, implementing, and tracking D&I initiatives, and key tenets of successful programs.

Issues to Consider Before Implementing a “Rooney Rule” to Increase Racial Diversity in Employment

With recent news of a new Goldman Sachs policy requiring managers to interview two diverse candidates for any open job, there is no question that the “Rooney Rule,” first adopted by the National Football League (NFL) in 2003, has reached far beyond the football field. Since the NFL first adopted its rule requiring every team with a head coach vacancy to interview at least one or more diverse candidate, the practice of “tagging” minority applications to diversify the workforce has become more and more common. As employers in a diverse range of industries begin to consider using their own Rooney Rules, it is important to remember some key legal limitations on such practices to correctly balance the legal interests that may come into play.

Seeking Unity, Not Uniformity*: Diversity and the Corporate Board of Directors

New board of directors appointments such as Indra Nooyi joining Amazon, Nikki Haley nominated by Boeing, and Michelle J. Howard as IBM’s latest director illustrate the accelerating trend of gender and minority diversity on corporate boards – an apt topic for Women’s History Month. And there are plentiful reasons for promoting board diversity.

Jump Start Your Diversity and Inclusion Program (Podcast)

In this podcast, Kimya Johnson and Michelle Wimes discuss ways that employers can address diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace, including best practices for starting D&I programs or improving those already in existence. They will cover how companies can best structure their programs for success, general legal parameters, current trends in D&I programming, and challenges that companies may face.

PODCAST: Jump Start Your Diversity and Inclusion Program

In this podcast, Kimya Johnson and Michelle Wimes discuss ways that employers can address diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace, including best practices for starting D&I programs or improving those already in existence. They will cover how companies can best structure their programs for success, general legal parameters, current trends in D&I programming, and challenges that companies may face.

Dear Littler: Will These Recruiting Ideas Help Me Meet Our Diversity Goals?

Dear Littler: Our boss is really pushing for us to increase our number of diverse employees. I see his point—we are a predominantly white and male workforce, though we have more than 150 workers. My managers had a meeting to set some hiring targets and now we are evaluating some recruiting ideas. We are considering: (1) giving bonuses to managers who hire diverse candidates; (2) asking recruiters to send us only women and racial minorities; and (3) rolling out a Refer-A-Friend program with a small payment to employees who bring in diverse coworkers. What do you think? We want to choose options that will bring results.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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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