The Confident Proponent of 2020: Proving the Case for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

The Practical Lawyer magazine

Alison Akant, J.D., M.Ed., March 2020

This article published is the first in a series on the promise of diversity and inclusion (D & I) initiatives for the workplace in the new decade. It reviews why making the case for D & I initiatives has been so difficult in the past, and why it has met with so much resistance, even though inequities in access and professional advancement are blatant and enormous; even though the call to action has long been sounded; and even though commitment to D & I has been avowed by hundreds of leading entities in the corporate, legal, and education sectors. The second article (expected publication in April 2020) revisits two familiar cases for D & I in the workplace — the social justice and business cases — and renews them with analysis and evidence to support them. The third article (expected publication in April 2020) will examine the talent and climate cases for diversity and addresses the challenges of affordability and implementation that can prevent a decision-maker from adopting and adequately funding D & I initiatives. The author’s conclusion is that the proponent for D & I initiatives in 2020 can and should be confident because the cases for D & I are strong, now that there are many evidence-based, affordable, and implementable D & I initiatives available.

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