Committing to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

An excerpt from the Legal Resource Management Report, Part 4: Committing to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Given the widespread evidence that women’s careers have been disproportionately affected by the global pandemic,  there have been very real concerns that the progress made towards DEI could be derailed as a result and that the good work already in place may be undermined by the new disconnects created by hybrid working.

As Sandra Yamate, CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, said in BigHand’s Legal Resource Management White Paper: “Looking back to the economic downturn of 2008, we saw DEI efforts decimated. Women and ethnic minority lawyers were disproportionately laid off from their jobs, and there was an expectation that this could happen again. But it didn’t. 2020 was a watershed moment for DEI in Legal. It has shifted the priorities for law firms, and we are still waiting to see what the outcome will be.”

DEI Priority

This research confirms that firms globally are committed to improving DEI strategies. ‘Reviewing equity, diversity & inclusion policies and initiatives’ is a priority for 40% of UK, 46% NA, 25% APAC firms over the next two years; while ‘reviewing career development options for associates’ is a priority for 42% UK, 50% NA and 37% APAC.

Furthermore, 82% NA, 63% UK, and 44% APAC firms say their DEI agendas now impact how they resource matters. However, partners picking resources based on personal preference remains a challenge for 33% NA, 39% UK and 31% of APAC firms, a fact that potentially comprises the realisation of DEI goals. Firms need to implement a balanced, impartial approach to resourcing that ensures equitable allocation of opportunities across the board.



Immediate, end-to-end visibility of individuals’ talents, experience and developmental areas is a prerequisite to realising DEI objectives.

By removing the burden of choosing resources for individuals matters from partners, firms can avoid any risk of bias – however unintentional they may be. Furthermore, firms have the information and processes in place to provide everyone with the same access to training and mentoring.

Effective resource management is key to ensuring strategic DEI goals are embedded within the business through strong operational processes.


This was an excerpt from The Legal Resource Management Report. Access the full report to dive deeper into the findings from over 900 legal management professionals:

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The largest report of its kind, polling over 900 legal management professionals from firms of 50+ lawyers in the UK, North America and APAC. See what they said....

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