•Holding leaders accountable. This includes monitoring progress
made on diversity goals by utilizing metrics, soliciting feedback from
internal resource groups and maintaining diversity attrition statistics. It
also includes incorporating diversity-enhancement efforts into evaluations and compensations.
•Instituting reverse mentoring. Today, senior attorneys are being
paired with junior diverse attorneys to gain more insight on the challenges they face.
Aerotek Teams Up with Global Lead for Diversity Success
Aerotek Inc., the leading technical and professional staffing agency in the United States, has teamed up
with international management-consulting firm Global Lead to advance its diversity program. Global Lead
works with clients to enhance their people, boost productivity and improve bottom-line results.
Tim Carrington John Peoples
With diversity-awareness training for all employees, leadership training for managers and five diversity
councils targeting issues such as mentoring and hiring, Aerotek already had a vibrant diversity program in
place prior to partnering with Global Lead. To take it to the next level, Global Lead introduced Aerotek to
“Cultural Dexterity™,” what Global Lead Managing Partner John Peoples defines as “having the ability to
interact successfully with cultures that are different than yours.”
Part of what prompted Aerotek to partner with Global Lead was the staffing firm’s pursuit of global manufacturers. “We were working on business with a Japanese corporation and realized that we were having
difficulty navigating the process because we didn’t fully understand their culture,” says Tim Carrington,
Senior Vice President at Aerotek.
Aerotek’s pilot program took place in March when employees attended a three-day “culture college”
organized by Global Lead that combined lecture, a field trip to the Japanese Embassy’s Information and
Cultural Center, as well as interactive exercises, such as role-playing. “It was a great blend of theory and
practical skills,” says Carrington.
The idea behind Cultural Dexterity™ is that Aerotek employees can apply what they’ve learned to different cultures
as they encounter them. “We learned a lot about Japanese culture, but, more importantly, we learned how to adapt to
cultures different than our own,” Carrington says. A second workshop is planned as well as a full rollout later this year.
Feedback has been positive. “Some of our salespeople told me that if they had taken this training before
going after Japanese clients, they would have been a lot more successful,” Carrington says.
•Joining forces. From Minnesota to Massachusetts, regional bar associations and law-firm consortiums are being formed to create programs
that help attract and promote diverse attorneys. The 80-member
Arizona Bar Diversity Task Force, for example, recently drafted recommendations to help its members diversify their ranks and offer the best
services to the state’s increasingly multicultural communities.
Best Practice of Diversity
Communicate the importance the firm places on
diversity internally and externally.
—NALP Best Practices Guide
With this type of support and encouragement from corporate America,
law firms are indeed creating more inclusive workplaces where diverse
attorneys can fully contributing and excel. ❚
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