Enhancing Workplace Culture through Strategic DEI Consulting and Training

Constangy's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Practice Group is committed to assisting organizations through the transformative process of cultivating a workplace culture founded on the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion as well as belonging and accessibility.

At Constangy, our commitment to DEI and guiding clients through the development of DEI practices have long been ingrained in our ethos. Even before the term "DEI" gained widespread recognition, we recognized the paramount importance of fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces. Throughout our history, we have counseled our clients on creating cultures that prioritize fairness, respect, and belonging for all employees. These foundational principles, which form the bedrock of what is now known as DEI, have always been at the forefront of our advisory services. Our longstanding dedication to promoting these values underscores our unwavering commitment to supporting our clients in creating thriving, inclusive, and socially responsible workplaces.

Our attorneys collaborate closely with clients to establish and implement DEI initiatives that not only align with evolving legal standards but mitigate business risks. From conducting thorough assessments to developing customized policies and providing ongoing legal counsel, we offer comprehensive support throughout every stage of our clients' DEI journey. Our goal is to empower organizations to build robust, resilient, and legally sound frameworks that advance a dynamic and inclusive workplace culture.

What Sets Us Apart

Our approach goes beyond surface-level initiatives to create lasting cultural change within organizations. Through legal analysis, tailored policies, and strategic guidance, we support our clients in addressing any potential systemic barrier and promoting inclusivity at all levels. By identifying and mitigating legal risks associated with DEI initiatives, we enable organizations to progress toward their diversity and inclusion goals with confidence and integrity.

What We Do

  • Conducting comprehensive diversity assessments
  • Implementing DEI policy and practice audits
  • Reviewing existing discrimination and harassment policies, codes of conduct, workplace respect guidelines, or other DEI policies and initiatives and offering recommendations to ensure compliance and mitigation of legal risks
  • Working with leadership to evaluate and implement DEI Change Management Strategies
  • Developing customized DEI action plans, including voluntary affirmative action plans
  • Providing specialized DEI education programs, including customized training for executive leadership and board of directors
  • Crafting effective DEI communication strategies for internal and external stakeholders
  • Developing strategic plans aimed at bolstering the recruitment, retention, and advancement of underrepresented groups across all tiers of the organization
  • Assisting HR professionals and in-house counsel with litigation prevention
  • Performing independent investigations into allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or other workplace misconduct, utilizing the findings to assess DEI policies or initiatives

Constangy's DEI Practice Group is committed to partnering with our clients to foster inclusive and equitable workplaces. By leveraging our expertise and resources, we equip organizations with the tools to unlock the untapped potential of their diverse workforce, driving innovation and encouraging sustainable growth. Contact us today to explore how we can support your organization’s DEI journey.

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

At Constangy, our dedication to championing diversity and inclusion has been ingrained in our firm's ethos since its inception in 1946. Our pioneering commitment to diversity is evident in our early hiring practices, exemplified by the appointment of Mildred McClelland as a partner—a groundbreaking decision during an era when women comprised only a small fraction of attorneys. Drawing from this rich legacy, we continue to assist our clients in promoting inclusive cultures that nurture a sense of belonging.

Our attorneys have been involved in a diverse array of engagements. Here are a few examples of how we have assisted our clients:

  • Provided educational sessions for DEI teams and executive leadership to ensure a complete understanding of DEI and legal compliance in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action.
  • Collaborated with a prominent restaurant group's employment counsel to integrate DEI initiatives and objectives for all management-level employees, providing tools for measuring progress and ensuring accountability while minimizing legal risks.
  • Conducted training sessions that included a range of topics such as Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and anti-harassment laws, complete with examples of impermissible conduct or language; an exploration of diversity principles and initiatives; an overview of the organization's current DEI initiatives and the laws that impact these programs; and comprehensive training on DEI, focusing on how to integrate these principles into company practices.
  • Partnered with the leadership of a private behavioral service company, offering legal advice and guidance to an employee steering committee focused on fostering conscious inclusion, active allyship, and collaborative culture. This involved a comprehensive examination and revision of key HR policies.
  • Analyzed a national retailer's workforce to determine areas of underrepresentation and provided support and counsel for developing actionable recruitment efforts and compliant selection processes.
  • Assisted a non-profit organization in enhancing diverse board leadership and provided educational support on how DEI principles can be integrated into its strategic plan to build inclusivity and drive organizational growth.
  • Counseled companies - from small boutique businesses to Fortune 500 companies - on DEI initiatives, ensuring compliance with Title VII or providing analytics on hiring and pay equity.
  • Provided joint management of a DEI Committee for multiple unions, including negotiating contracts to include DEI initiatives.

News & Analysis

Newsletters & Bulletins


Blog Posts



  • Can business be a force for good? What happens when you have a noble purpose, put people at the center, embrace all stakeholders, treat profit as an outcome, and push your suppliers, vendors and partners to embrace key values along the way? Join Susan Bassford Wilson and guests Piyumi Samaratunga and Hubert Joly for this enlightening discussion. Piyumi is co-chair of  Constangy's Immigration Practice, Partner and head of Constangy’s Minneapolis office. Hubert is former Chairman and CEO of Best Buy credited with the company’s overwhelmingly successful transformation and sustained success, Additionally, he is the author of The Heart of Business – Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism, which was published on May 4th by Harvard Business Review Press and can be ordered via Hubertjoly.org. Hubert is currently a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, where he teaches on issues of business transformation, corporate sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion. In this Podcast, Susan, Piyumi, and Hubert discuss the importance of embracing a new set of people-centric principles for this new post COVID19 era in business.

Auditing & Training

Auditing & Training

For more information on DEI trainings, go here

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Audit Services

At Constangy, we understand how important implementation and achievement of your DEI program is.  Diversity and inclusion have been areas of focus for many employers for years now. However, with the momentum of the social justice movement, we see organizations placing an increased emphasis on efforts to further their goal of ensuring a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Having a DEI policy is a basic starting point, but organizations that truly want to advance these concepts must dig deeper. Employers should consider adopting DEI best practices, analyzing their workforce and practices, and developing lawful mechanisms that will foster true change.  

Constangy’s DEI Audit tools can assist an employer with assessing whether its efforts are designed to cultivate true DEI within its organization. Our DEI Audit tools are exceptionally comprehensive from start to finish. Important audit segments cover the breadth of the employer-employee relationship—from pre-employment postings and policies to post-hire practices and employee engagement. Whether it is employee performance reviews or workplace culture, Constangy’s DEI Audit tools will help you dissect your internal DEI efforts and practices . . . and Constangy lawyers can work hand-in-hand with your organization to plan and implement any needed changes. The DEI Audit tools described in more detail below are designed to measure an organization’s compliance with various laws and regulations that impact DEI, as well as the voluntary actions that employers can adopt to help “move the needle” when it comes to achieving a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.    

Our firm’s DEI Audit Services are different from what you might find elsewhere. These tools were prepared by employment lawyers with an eye for what matters from a variety of perspectives – technical compliance, EEO and harassment issues, litigation and EEOC trends, DEI best practices, and organizational barriers. We understand that DEI involves more than just responding to the latest fad or newsworthy event, and our Audit tools incorporate this intersection between employment law and DEI.

To facilitate these important DEI efforts, we have developed a three-tiered service approach: 

  • DEI Implement 
  • DEI Self-Assessment Indicator 
  • DEI Evaluation & Strategic Action Plan 

Because DEI efforts encompass numerous components of an organization, use of these DEI Audit tools may require input from various sectors or departments, such as human resources, DEI, organizational development, talent acquisition, compensation, benefits, employee relations, and similar groups. Participation by this cross-section of viewpoints is necessary to obtain a robust and accurate view of overall DEI efforts and strategies. And yet, the tools are intuitive and user-friendly, so you can execute the assessment and have results in a few weeks, not months.

DEI Implement – Tier One  

Our DEI Implement details specific DEI initiatives and programs that can be executed throughout the employment process and employee lifecycle. The DEI Implement contains sections on pre-employment policies and practices, post-offer procedures, terms and conditions of employment, employee engagement and culture, and a separate section for federal contractors. Each section lists numerous suggested DEI and compliance topics. Organizations can check off the areas already satisfied and circle other topics or ideas for further review and development. In addition to the thorough, eight-page DEI Implement, this tier includes an optional thirty-minute conference with one of our experienced DEI attorneys to address questions about your DEI practices. For a brief preview of the DEI Implement, click here. 

DEI Self-Assessment Indicator – Tier Two 

Constangy’s DEI Self-Assessment Indicator incorporates the same sections included in the DEI Implement, but provides an extensive and detailed questionnaire to be completed by the organization. Responses are automatically scored, and users can monitor and evaluate their own DEI progress and achievements, while also using the questionnaire to learn about and develop additional DEI initiatives. Given the breadth and scope of the questionnaire, we estimate that most organizations will need two to four weeks to complete it. For a brief preview of the DEI Self-Assessment Indicator, click here. 

DEI Evaluation & Strategic Action Plan – Tier Three 

The most comprehensive tier of Constangy’s DEI Audit Services is DEI Evaluation & Strategic Plan.  This tier includes the detailed questionnaire described above in Tier Two, but in lieu of the self-assessment, a Constangy attorney well-versed in the DEI area will review and evaluate your organization’s responses and information and provide detailed feedback and recommendations. The Evaluation will include an assessment of each area of inquiry, noting any fields where efforts are not likely to result in meaningful change and if potential issues of legal non-compliance are identified. Constangy will also provide assistance with policy preparation, where necessary, and development of a Strategic Action Plan to help achieve DEI opportunities identified in the Evaluation. To the fullest extent possible, responses that are gathered in the process and the Evaluation have the protection of the attorney-client privilege. 

For more information, please contact Cara Crotty, a member of the DEI practice group, or the Constangy attorney of your choice. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Trainings 

Exclusive DEI Compliance Training

The 2023 Supreme Court decision on Affirmative Action significantly altered the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion landscape. Organizations committed to DEI need to understand the long-term implications of this case. Partner with Cara Crotty, Chair of the firm’s Affirmative Action/OFCCP Compliance practice group, to ensure that your organization’s specific DEI practices comply with the law.

Cara brings unparalleled expertise to guide your team through this complex landscape in a personalized, in-depth presentation tailored to your organization’s needs.

Topics covered include:

  • Breakdown of Supreme Court’s Ruling
  • Implications for DEI Programs
  • Recent Legal Actions and Pitfalls
  • Best Practices for Compliance

To learn more, download our handout or contact Cara Crotty for further assistance.

Diversity, Inclusion & Respect in the Workplace Training

Constangy attorneys have long provided tailored diversity-oriented training programs, but in today’s world, training for employees is more important than ever. Effective training can help decrease a company’s legal exposure to claims of discrimination.

Lawyers can present trainings to senior management, supervisors, and/or the full workforce. Training may take place either in person at your facilities or virtually. Our programs are substantive and thorough—while at same time bringing down-to-earth content that minimizes “legalese” for all audiences.

Topics covered in our program range from unconscious bias and explicit bias to diversity and inclusion. Practical, measurable solutions and action items for your organization are presented. Our trainings are interactive by nature. Speak to your lawyer about planning for interesting anonymous polling of audience participants or follow-up quizzes for learning. Formats can also vary if desired, such as moderated panels to roundtables with scenarios for discussion.

To inquire about more details or pricing of training, please send us an email. An attorney will get with you promptly.

Diversity in Constangy’s DNA

Diversity in Constangy’s DNA

Seventy-five years is a long time. So many stories. 

We’ve seen the rise of rock ’n roll, the civil rights era, the Vietnam war, the women’s movement—and inventions from microwave popcorn to fax machines to the internet. As times changed, so has the way we work. Gone are the days of smoking in the office and men having to wear coats in the halls.

But one thing is the same now as it was then—respect for all and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Some would say that D&I is in our DNA.

Perhaps one of our long-time clients best said what sets us apart:  “There’s a soul to Constangy that’s unique and refreshing, that’s not found with other firms.” 

The history of our firm is the history of our people—of the steps we took yesterday and steps we’re taking today. Travel along as we reflect on just a few of our mileposts: the journey of diversity and inclusion that spans 75 years…

Click here to learn more!

Diverse Leadership

Recognition as a Diverse Firm

Practice Contacts

Other Resources

Our Story: Diversity at Constangy

Sharpen Your FOCUS: Perspectives on Workplace Diversity 

To learn more about our exclusive DEI compliance trainings, tailored to fit your organization's needs, download our handout.

Back to Page