Dinsmore Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Tammy Bennett on ‘Facing Change in the Boardroom’

February 18, 2022Articles
Savoy Network

Dinsmore employment partner Tammy Bennett wrote a column for Savoy Network on the actionable steps law firms can take to boost diversity efforts. An excerpt is below.

Under the immediate impact of Covid-19 and the “race pandemic,” businesses expressed support in public statements; some made long-overdue changes to company logos and other aspects of branding. Such gestures matter. At the same time, they raise a bigger question: What actionable steps can legal employers take to move the needle on diversity in deeper and more lasting ways?

One crucial answer: diversify governance. Exploding sexual harassment claims spurred by #MeToo and increased visibility of systemic race disparities following George Floyd’s murder highlight how corporate cultures are buffeted by shifting social norms and societal polarization. In this new normal, corporate governance requires directors not just with financial acumen but also social acuity and cultural insight, especially into marginalized communities.

Tammy Bennett

Board diversity is as relevant to law firms as to their corporate clients—maybe more so. Importantly, for the underrepresented to give voice to their perspectives and truly benefit the firm, organizations must thoughtfully cultivate environments that foster an authentic sense of inclusive belongingness in all board members. Thus, the importance of psychological safety as a precondition for genuine inclusiveness.

Changing the faces and voices at the table can better equip law firms to effectively manage culture risks while advancing diversity, inclusion and cultural competence firm-wide, in their client interactions and in the communities they serve.

Read the full article here.