Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Industry: Trends and Best Practices

31/10/2023

DIVERSITY and inclusion are areas in which every organization invests much and tries to drive change for the better. Global organizations spend billions on diversity training to create equity every employee wants to feel and see in the workplace. 

In this article, you will get a good grasp on which practices are considered the best fit for diversity. We take you through the trends and best practices for diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. To learn more, visit https://www.harpermacleod.co.uk/.

Foster Inclusivity in Education

We have experienced bias in the legal industry that often derails inclusivity. Many times, our legal education system does the very opposite of inclusion. Sometimes, it might work for a few and fail the rest.

How can we truly understand why diversity and inclusion training fails? What can we do to drive change? We must make education free from bias to ensure we accommodate all perspectives. People learn and absorb information in different ways. We must readdress how information is conveyed to the learner for all to fit in. 

Create Ways to Appreciate Our Perspectives

Many legal organizations rely on dominant cultural perspectives. Diversity differs in every country, sometimes even every town or city you visit. Therefore, there is no way everyone will understand the cultural perspectives when given only one version of diversity. 

How will you connect with people? How will you conduct training and boost cooperation and engagement between workers?

We cannot train with only one source of information in a society that is multifaceted. As a result, we need to focus on open-source perspectives. Diversity entails bringing different perspectives and lived experiences together. So, all parties should respect and acknowledge the differences and work towards a better organization. 

Embracing the Capabilities of the DImpaired in the Workplace

Most employers look at disability as an added operational expense to their organization. As a result, some employees find it best to withhold this information. Unfortunately, even though discrimination is against the law, it still happens in some workplaces. 

According to the US Labor Statistics, people with impairments were twice as likely to be unemployed than those without. The core issue here is the discrimination that people with impairments often face while attempting to join the workforce. 

Many people with impairments have impairments that are not possible to hide or conceal in the interview process. Those who can conceal them are often left with the question of whether they should disclose their disabilities.

Disclosing now remains a personal decision. Even lawyers advise that people with impairments should not disclose their impairments until they are hired. That’s if they are able to do so. They end up overworking to adapt to inaccessible and non-inclusive work environments. 

So, what are some measures for embracing people with disabilities in the workplace? 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask them how they might need support when conducting interviews.
  • Give them proper training, and find a role best suited for them in the workplace. 
  • Firms can use specially adapted equipment and disability aids to adapt to the workplace easily.

Creating a Safe Space for Sharing Opinions

Most employees refrain from sharing suggestions or feedback for fear of being labeled difficult or uncooperative. Having such a label often means getting skipped from receiving promotions or bonuses and may cause damage to reputations and overall careers.

These are some of the reasons workplaces should work towards creating a safe space in the workplace. This safe space allows individuals to speak up when sharing a different opinion without fear of judgment. 

They should give each other room to share feedback and constructive criticism, leading to growth. Creating this safe space in the workplace sparks innovation and encourages colleagues to develop and co-create ideas.  

Final Thoughts

Diversity and inclusion are necessary for organizations to run successfully. Therefore, companies should prioritize more exposure through training. Research is also vital so we can find new and unique ways to accommodate all members of the workforce. 

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