Calls to Action
Employers and attorneys are encouraged to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their workplaces, and in the profession, by taking the steps outlined in this section. The “Calls to Action” were developed from a review of best practices in inclusion and diversity, along with feedback from DEI leaders and stakeholders in various sectors.
Promote Transparency and Accountability
- Collect and analyze demographic data on recruitment, hiring, promotion, and attrition. Staff reviewing demographic data should have a meaningful opportunity to recommend policy changes to the organization’s leadership team.
- Review organizational data yearly to assess progress, identify trends, and update policies and practices accordingly.
- Create a strategic DEI plan for your organization with specific objectives, metrics, and benchmarks over time. Detail specific plans to advance equity and inclusion, including initiatives to support retention and advancement, plans to regularly report and discuss progress, ways for attorneys and staff to provide feedback, and adequate staffing to support DEI efforts.
- Ensure new and expanded staffing and resources are available at all levels to prioritize and implement the organization’s DEI plan.
- Create mechanisms to solicit and collect feedback, including stay and exit interviews and regular employee surveys. Staff reviewing this data should have a meaningful opportunity to recommend policy changes to the organization’s leadership team.
Build an Inclusive Workplace Culture
- Take affirmative steps to develop and maintain an inclusive and equitable culture by improving the workplace experience for all, regardless of gender identity, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability status, or veteran status.
- Develop formal policies and procedures for equitable work allocation that reflect your organization’s retention and advancement goals.
- Develop policies and initiatives that promote staff’s sense of belonging, including providing structured spaces to discuss DEI at the office, such as employee resource groups (ERGs), assessing supervision, evaluation, and advancement practices, and requiring regular training on implicit bias for all staff.
- Encourage all staff to learn about and discuss DEI issues. Ensure that new entry-level hires reflect the diversity of new State Bar licensees.
- Identify and address any hiring traditions—recruiting strategies, hiring criteria, processes—that may contribute to a lack of diversity in your organization.
Retain, Advance, Compensate, and Empower Staff
- Broaden your benefit options, especially regarding lessons learned from remote work and hybrid work models. Think of additional benefits to encourage wellness and self-care, which reinforce the importance of maintaining a sustainable approach to work.
- Review your salary and compensation tables regularly to ensure they are internally equitable and externally keeping pace with the relevant labor market.
- Ensure that organizational support resources and benefits are available to all staff.
Empower Yourself and Others
- Participate in goal-setting efforts and hold employers accountable for results.
- Actively engage in DEI committees, efforts, and conversations.
- Practice allyship by supporting DEI goals and initiatives even if you may not directly benefit.
- Explore what it takes to advance in your workplace. If you’re in the position to help, provide that guidance and direction.
- Review available employee resources and support systems. If they are not accessible, universally available, and encouraged, advocate for change.
- When interviewing, inquire about the firm’s efforts/initiatives to support professional development and leadership opportunities. Be the one who speaks to those efforts if you are on a hiring committee or interview panel.
- Seek a mentor or sponsor in your office who can advise and advocate for you. Be a mentor or sponsor if you’re in the position to do so.
- Be vocal when you believe that you qualify for a promotion. Be your advocate and an advocate for others.
Calls to Action by Sector
Review the sector-specific calls to action list and identify strategies for enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within your organization.
Share the 2022 Diversity Report Card Results
The State Bar has provided all tables and figures in this report in high resolution format for stakeholder use. Power Point File with High Resolution Images.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Seal Program
In late 2022, the State Bar of California will launch a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Seal program to recognize California legal employers that commit to implementing several of these research-driven Calls to Action. The DEI Leadership Seal will be available to all legal employers that employ California attorneys, including law firms, in-house legal departments, legal academia, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies with attorney staff. Employers that commit to pursuing selected action items will be awarded the DEI Leadership Seal. If your firm or organization is interested in participating in this program, please email DEILeadershipSeal@calbar.ca.gov. Additional details will be available on the State Bar’s website in late summer 2022.