GC Special Report: Diversity and inclusion in-house – the bigger picture

GC and The Legal 500 work together on a series of specially-commissioned reports about diversity and inclusion in businesses worldwide.

Last year, GC magazine ran a series of features on in-house lawyers around the world involved in diversity initiatives, both as role models and as practical architects.

Due to the positive response to those features we have decided to investigate diversity and inclusion in greater depth, with a series of specially-commissioned reports looking at the topic in different regions. GC and The Legal 500 are working together on these reports.

The reports will start by considering the strategic rationales behind a range of diversity and inclusion programmes in different companies. They will have a practical focus and will investigate the different steps and challenges in putting together diversity and inclusion programmes of different types.

In many cases we will be covering initiatives that are company-wide, but considering them from the perspective of legal departments and how they make them work. Our research has shown a consensus that in-house lawyers bring a unique perspective to this subject, due to the fact that it is in a lawyer’s DNA to operate ‘without prejudice’, and that in large organisations the legal team has a great oversight of many different aspects of the whole. We will also reflect on the way that in-house lawyers can influence diversity best practice in legal suppliers such as law firms, in their role as client.

The reports are focused around a series of interviews with in-house lawyers and legal teams that look at the strategic imperatives of diversity and inclusion for companies, the importance of the right type of role models, and the practical building blocks and dynamics of different types of initiatives.

The UK report will bring together the ideas of 24 thought leaders in this space. We will also distill the practical learnings of these interviews into a ‘tool box’ to assist legal teams who wish to learn from their peers about how to take their own initiatives forward.

Following the publication of each report, we will be running a series of small-scale workshops where six-to-eight participants get the chance to work with more experienced peers on how to practically effect diversity and inclusion initiatives.

How you can get involved

We are currently working on the UK report and beginning work on the Europe report, to be followed by the US then Asia. Please get in touch if you feel that you, your team or your organisation has a story to tell.

We are also running a survey on global in-house attitudes to diversity and inclusion. It is incredibly short, so please take five minutes to fill it in so your voice can be heard on this important issue. You can complete the survey here:

For any further information please email me at catherine.mcgregor@gcmagazine.com