What does an inclusive workplace look like in the legal field? What are the benefits of intersectional, interdisciplinary teams? Focus on practical steps to create an inclusive workspace.
The legal profession plays a crucial role in ensuring justice, equality, and the protection of individual rights. For the legal field to thrive and fulfill its purpose, it must reflect the diverse society it serves. An inclusive workplace in the legal field is not just a desirable aspiration but a moral and practical imperative. To achieve this, the legal industry must recognize the importance of intersectionality and interdisciplinary teams. The Panel consisting of Ivana Cucujkic-Panic, Eliana Zatschler, Cornelia Amon Konrath, Ana Nestorovic, and Stefan Perner reflected on what an inclusive workplace could look like in the legal field and discussed the substantial benefits of fostering intersectional, interdisciplinary teams.
“In an inclusive legal workplace, individuals from all backgrounds, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability, should have equal access to opportunities, promotions, and leadership positions.”
All employees are judged based on their skills, experience, and contributions rather than personal characteristics.
Diversity at All Levels:
An inclusive legal workplace values diversity at all levels, from support staff to senior partners. This includes diverse representation in leadership, which provides role models and advocates for diversity and inclusion.
Benefits of Intersectional, Interdisciplinary Teams:
Enhanced Problem Solving:
Intersectional, interdisciplinary teams bring together diverse viewpoints and expertise, which results in more creative and effective problem-solving.
”Legal issues often require multifaceted solutions, and these teams are well-equipped to provide them.”
An intersectional, interdisciplinary approach broadens perspectives, leading to innovative legal strategies and improved outcomes for clients. “
“It also fosters a greater sense of societal responsibility within the legal community.”
Practical Steps to Create an Inclusive Workspace:
Recruitment and Hiring:
Implement blind recruitment processes that focus solely on skills and experience, anonymizing personal information to eliminate bias. Ensure diverse interview panels and promote diverse candidate pipelines.
Review and revise policies to eliminate any barriers to diversity and inclusion. Implement flexible work arrangements, parental leave policies, and transparent procedures for reporting discrimination.
An inclusive workplace in the legal field is not only essential for achieving justice and equity, but it also benefits organizations in myriad ways.
“Intersectional, interdisciplinary teams are at the core of creating such an environment, as they enhance problem-solving, improve client relationships and foster innovation. By implementing practical steps to create an inclusive workspace, the legal profession can fulfill its vital role in society and become a beacon of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the broader community.”