We enjoy taking about many things, in particular diversity which is an integral part of any corporate organisation. We are committed to the promotion of diversity within the legal profession and in the industries in which we collaborate.
A flexible workplace is so full of potential. It is a place where people are kicking all sorts of goals. They are happy, productive, ambitious and energised. They are full of ideas and full of enthusiasm, because they are both fuelled and supported by an easier engagement in life, in family and community. A flexible workplace is a stronger workplace.
Many diversity strategies have been founded in the belief that everyone should be equal, but is that the right approach? I recently saw this graphic on LinkedIn. Great game, great crowd but that’s not the story here. It’s a “spot the difference” between the spectators in the foreground of the two images and their view of the game.
We know that when women, people of colour and different physical abilities are part of a business, those businesses do better. A recent report from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research revealed that women’s equality in the workforce could increase global GDP by 31 per cent (US$28 trillion) by 2025. While a report published in Harvard Business Review revealed that leaders who give “diverse voices equal airtime are nearly twice as likely as others to unleash value-driving insights, and employees in a ‘speak up’ culture are 3.5 times as likely to contribute their full innovative potential”. So why do we still see so many people struggling to talk about people from different backgrounds or people with different social alliances or physical traits in a way that is fair and respectful?
Stress is a normal part of life. But there is a fine line between where stress is part of a healthy lifestyle and when it is dangerous for the individual and the organisation they work for. While many are aware of stress, it is not like having a broken arm. It is a silent pain that can be easily overlooked by the individual and the organisation.
Many organisations proudly say that they use merit to select and promote employees as if it solves the issue of diversity. Merit assumes that there has been no bias – the best person wins. But if an organisation is operating within the same construct and environment that has allowed bias or discrimination to evolve and even prosper, then how can merit overcome diversity? In fact, merit just encourages more of the same.
Lawyers have traditionally worked long and hard, driven by billable hours and client demands. In this day and age, when many firms espouse flexible work policies, why are many lawyers still not being taken seriously when they choose to work part-time?