“It’s one thing to be
in an organization.
It’s another to say
we’re participating in
the critical activities
of the organization.
The first is diversity; the
second is inclusiveness.”
—Robert Grey Jr.
ative work product, which clients are
demanding. “A lot of the energy from
the movement of diversity and inclusiveness has come from clients,” Grey
says. “This notion of inclusiveness has
more traction because our differences
give us more options to solve problems
instead of just one path to a solution.
We now have three or four paths because we’re incorporating these differences to achieve a common goal.”
AMONG THE LEADERS IN THE INCLU-
siveness movement is Nalty’s Colorado
Campaign for Inclusive Excellence. In
2008 the campaign created a pilot program with 10 legal employers, including five small-to-large regional law
firms, the Denver office of a national
firm, two government law offices and
two corporate legal departments. The
program is testing a six-step process to
create a culture of inclusiveness for
GLBT and other minority lawyers.
(See “The Six Steps,” page 45.)
The program has prompted participants to rethink their own behavior.
“It challenged us to think more broadly
about diversity issues,” says Rich Baer,
chief administrative officer and general
counsel at Qwest Communications
International Inc. in Denver. “We’ve
come to realize that lawyers really thrive
in an environment of inclusion—and
this doesn’t just mean diverse lawyers,
but all lawyers. The best environment
is where their advice is welcome and
listened to, and that really only occurs
if the environment is truly inclusive,
where lawyers are being welcomed into
the fabric of the company.
“That helped us looking at our own
attitudes,” Baer admits. “Do we wel-
come all different views, or can we be
dismissive? I’m from Brooklyn, N.Y.,
and I prosecuted homicide cases. I’m
the first one who can too quickly form
a view and not listen to others’ views.
That’s not an inclusive environment.”
The pilot is also helping expose hid-
den barriers to retention. “A lot of
things happen within a legal organiza-
tion that people don’t realize and aren’t
doing intentionally,” Nalty says. “For
example, I have a new bookkeeper who
reminds me of my sister. I instantly felt
a bond with her. If I were at a law firm,
I’d be looking for ways to work with
her. When I said that to a general coun-
sel, it was a huge ‘aha moment’ for him.