The kit aims to help law firms embed DEI practices into the firm
The International Bar Association has launched its diversity and inclusion toolkit – a set of free, comprehensive guidelines designed to help law firms embed the core principles of diversity and inclusion into their organizations.
Originating as an initiative led by the IBA European Regional Forum Diversity & Inclusion Working Group, the project has expanded to ensure global relevance across jurisdictions.
Endorsed by the IBA Diversity & Inclusion Council, the toolkit is intended to serve as a practical tool for all law firms, no matter the size and location. It can serve as a guide to those who are yet to start their journey in creating D&I strategies within their organization; for improving and completing already existing practices; or for reviewing existing internal policies to determine whether all necessary aspects are covered sufficiently.
“It has been inspiring to see the IBA European Regional Forum take the lead on this important issue, encouraging all law firms to embrace a more diverse and equal workplace environment,” said Masako Banno, chair of the IBA Diversity and Inclusion Council. “The Diversity & Inclusion Council welcomes, and will continue to support, the initiative, and we hope that this resource will assist a wide range of law firms in making diversity and inclusion a core element of their business model.”
The toolkit is made to be flexible and to lead users through certain procedures where diversity and inclusion can be applied. It also offers helpful templates and a procedure for drafting a strategic D&I action plan. It teaches practitioners how to connect their objectives to the business plan of their company and begin the conversion around D&I.
The toolkit provides a matrix that is designed around the career milestones of employees, such as attraction and recruitment, induction, career progression and the end of the working relationship.
“This toolkit was born out of a desire for real change amongst law firms in terms of their response to the question of diversity and inclusion,” said Antonia Verna, chair of the IBA Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. “Having a diverse team of lawyers with experience from a variety of cultural backgrounds enables firms to be receptive to the commercial imperatives of global, transnational clients.”