Diversity Journal - Nov/Dec 2013
2014 Diversity Leader Communications Award Issue. Diversity Leaders discuss "What's Next"
››› Impact and Future of MVA’s Diversity Strategic Plan In 2011, Moore & Van Allen’s (MVA) Diversity Committee enacted a Diversity Strategic Plan that continues to serve as the driving force behind its daily and longer term initiatives. The plan has these six overarching goals: 1) Maintain commitment of firm leadership; 2) Develop a pipeline of diverse candidates; 3 Develop, retain, and promote talent; 4) Nurture an inclusive workplace; 5) Establish accountability; and 6) Increase internal and external communications regarding efforts. MVA Diversity Committees Power Diversity The firm’s Management and Diversity Committees have instituted firm-wide diversity and diversity-supplier statements. An MVA diversity scorecard is published quarterly for management and practice group leaders, providing demographics and benchmark comparisons from surveys. The Diversity Committee meets with practice group leaders to discuss diversity and inclusion efforts for their respective teams, celebrate team successes, and identify opportunities for improvement. MVA is also working to identify and cultivate relationships with minority- and women-owned vendors. In 2014, the Diversity Committee will continue to develop and refine existing initiatives like the Women of Moore & Van Allen (WoMVA) and Lawyers of Color (LOC) affinity groups. WoMVA unites MVA’s female lawyers for mentoring, networking, and career development. During the past year, the group held its biennial retreat, joined Grant Thornton women to co-host a “Leveraging Your Management Strengths” program, and hosted a cookoff client social featuring female chefs. LOC operates to increase cohesiveness, networking, and community outreach opportunities. Their 2013 endeavors included several social and professional development functions. Improving Retention Numbers A key focus for the firm during the next year will be the retention of diverse attorneys. The large law firm model can be harsh, and one of the most effective balms against burn out is interacting with likeminded colleagues from similar backgrounds. So, as MVA expands diversity recruitment efforts such as forging partnerships with National Black Law Students Association chapters and LGBT student affinity groups, retention numbers are expected to continue to rise. The technology industry is an important economic driver, so the need to attract attorneys who are both diverse and qualified to serve technology-based firms will continue to increase. Moore & Van Allen will meet diversity and client-service goals by forecasting clients’ legal needs and hiring attorneys who are equipped to meet them. PDJ Planning for Success As National Grid looks forward to 2013, the company will focus on three important challenges related to diversity and inclusion: Preparing women for nontraditional roles; Ensuring that all employees have opportunities to grow and develop; and Maximizing the internal and external reach of the organization’s Employee Resource Groups. ››› WHAT’S NEXT Ensuring a Smooth Transition Like many utilities, National Grid is faced with the challenge of an aging workforce, which will require bringing in new talent to replace those who will retire soon and preparing current employees for more senior positions. Additionally, we are working to better plan for the utility’s short- and medium-term workforce needs. A Holistic Approach to Recruitment and Retention The most important trend in the recruitment and retention of diverse talent is that human resources professionals are taking a holistic approach—looking to hire and develop complex, multidimensional people, rather than simply filling positions with a particular skill set. PDJ Shaping Our Perceptions New York Life Insurance Company knows a diverse and inclusive workplace is not only good for the company, but also a competitive strength in the marketplace. Simply put, diversity and inclusion produce the best results for everybody—employees, business partners and the larger community. In 2014, New York Life plans to focus even more on engagement and awareness in relation to building a diverse and inclusive workplace. To achieve its goal, the company will expand education across the enterprise regarding potential barriers that may impact one’s ability to optimize his or her work environment. Understanding Unconscious Bias The company will spend much of the coming year focused on helping its management team develop a deeper understanding of “unconscious bias”—the filters that shape perceptions and expectations of others—and how those filters can negatively impact the quality and effectiveness of business and talent-management decisions. Building an Inclusive Meritocracy New York Life will also make it a priority to develop employees at all levels and remain dedicated to creating an inclusive meritocracy, where everyone can succeed. The company will leverage its relationships with professional and nonprofit organizations that can help it attract the best and the brightest talent. Finally, the organization will cultivate a diversity of thought that will help employees recognize opportunities, adapt business strategies, and successfully enter new markets across the U.S. PDJ November/December 2013 WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM 39