New York – Numerous studies show that diversity and inclusion are a significant business advantage, yet the pace of change continues to be modest in many organizations. However, general counsel at leading companies are increasingly using their purchasing power to spur progress among their outside legal providers, according to “General Counsel Diversity and Inclusion Report US 2017,” a new report from Paul Hastings, a leading global law firm, and GC Magazine.
The report features in-depth interviews with the general counsel of more than a dozen companies, including Accenture, Adobe, BP, Brocade, GE, MassMutual, MasterCard, Morgan Stanley, PepsiCo, Salesforce, and Walmart. They discuss the ways in which in-house counsel in the U.S. are helping to advance diversity, both within their own organizations and across the legal profession.
According to the general counsel, their efforts focus primarily on three areas: increasing the pipeline of diverse talent, supporting the advancement of more diverse candidates into leadership roles, and using “the power of the client” to push their law firms and other suppliers to share their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“At Paul Hastings, we recognize that diversity and inclusion is not just a ‘nice to have’ program—it’s smart business,” said Seth Zachary, the firm’s Chairman, who contributed the foreword to the report. “Our lawyers’ diversity of experience and perspectives is what powers the innovative thinking and breakthrough solutions we provide our clients.”
“As the general counsel profiled in our report agree, while it is important to talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion, now is the time for action,” said Greg Nitzkowski, the firm’s Managing Partner and a member of its Diversity Committee. “This report illustrates how clients are helping to drive positive change across the profession. It also makes clear the significant work that still needs to be done on the part of law firms.”
The report is the latest example of the firm’s focus on exploring the drivers and barriers to increasing diversity and inclusion through a series of innovative thought leadership reports and events. In November, Paul Hastings and Bloomberg BNA’s Big Law Business produced “Diversity and Inclusion: Annual Report,” which examines the most prevalent challenges to advancing diversity and inclusion at law firms and provides recommendations to overcome them.
At Paul Hastings, our purpose is clear — to help our clients and people navigate new paths to growth. With a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., Paul Hastings is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative global law firms.