Most companies invest time, energy, and money in marketing strategies to attract and retain their clients or customers. Companies spend significant resources on market research that tells them how to do this best. Organizations train, incentivize, reward, and promote employees who do this well. Companies often revise and upgrade strategies based on customer reviews and feedback. Most industries have considerable data analytics to help them maintain a competitive edge. However, emerging data reveals that most employers do not invest meaningfully in understanding their own employees’ experiences to minimize attrition.

President Biden’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, begins her Senate confirmation hearing today. It marks a historic moment for our country.  If she is confirmed, Judge Jackson will be the first Black woman, the sixth woman, and the third Black justice to be on the Supreme Court.  For nearly two centuries, the Court's bench consisted exclusively of white men - of the 120 Supreme Court Justices since its creation, 115 have been men and 117 have been white.   

February marked our nation’s annual celebration of Black History. For twenty-eight days—and sometimes twenty-nine—we look back and acknowledge the accomplishments of African Americans and the impact they have had on our nation and society. Many see this as the time to research and celebrate the contributions of African Americans to this nation. Often these contributions include unfathomable loss and sacrifice intended to push our country to be a more equitable society. And while this month means so much to me, I can’t help but feel that Black History has been relegated to the proverbial “back of the bus,” treated separate and distinct from the rest of American History.

Building a diverse workforce has become a key business strategy, especially in today’s fast-paced, global marketplace. But, making profound shifts in the makeup of a workforce cannot be achieved overnight. There is also no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving a diverse workplace, but one key strategy is to examine how your current workforce feels.  Yes, feels. Marketing is about how a product or service makes you feel.  And, your employees are your best marketing tool. 

I heard a story recently where a (very well intentioned) individual said he felt compelled to speak up about sexual harassment he witnessed at work because he had a daughter. He felt that by coming forward in this situation involving a female coworker, he was taking a step so his daughter would have a better future.

First black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court.

Like most of you, 2021 has been sort of surreal. After more than a year of some hybrid form of working from home with your “pod” of people (family, friends, or some combination thereof), where our collective 24/7 life cycle consisted of wake, eat, work, yell at your kids/friends/pets, maybe shower, binge watch a show, maybe exercise, maybe drink, and then repeat in some similar order again … and again.  The light at the end of the COVID tunnel seemed elusive, and for some it still is.   

UPDATE: (6/17/21) The SCOTUS ruled in the Fulton v City of Philadelphia case mentioned in this blog post. The SCOTUS unanimously decided that Philadelphia does not have the right bar a religious agency from refusing to work with same-sex couples.To read the full decision, click here.

June is Pride month, which celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Allies and Pansexual (LGBTQIA+) persons. The annual recognition of Pride is in June to honor the Stonewall Riots of 1969. The Stonewall Riots occurred in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The raid lead to days of protests and clashes with law enforcement because of the violent way employees and patrons of the Stonewall Inn were treated during the raid. Although there have been gay rights organizations founded since the 1920’s, the Stonewall Uprising is considered by many to have kicked off a gay rights movement both in the United States and world-wide. As a result, there has been some progress.

Yes, you read that correctly. We are all implicitly biased, but that’s okay. No really, I promise.

EDITORS' NOTE: At Constangy, we like to say that DEI is in our DNA. Like many in the world, we in the DEI Practice Group are inspired by current events and strive to channel that inspiration to support and drive change within ourselves and with our clients. Neil Wasser, one of our Partners and Chair of our Firm’s Executive Committee, shared a personal message yesterday. His words and leadership resonated so strongly, and we would like to share them with you (with his permission, of course).  

- Lara and Punam 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion has been the bedrock of our firm since we opened over 75 years ago. As we like to say, it is in our DNA. We believe that to foster diverse leadership and urge diversity of thought, we must do what we can to advance the conversation about diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging in the workplace and the communities in which our workplaces thrive. Through our blog, we share our insights from the perspective of both an employer and employee, regarding emerging issues that affect diverse leaders and workforces. We hope you enjoy our tidbits of legal and practical information, wisdom, and humor. Thanks for joining the conversation!

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