Monday, June 13, 2016

Finding the pulse of a meaningful diversity narrative - LAWYERSWEEKY

by Melissa Coade
Originally publisher: June 13, 2016

Law firms aiming for better diversity must give stock to the pace of change that best accords with their unique culture, a Baker & McKenzie partner has said.

Partner Craig Andrade (pictured) is an LGBTI ambassador for Baker & McKenzie. He believes that with diversity’s business case settled, the challenge now is for firms to adopt a pace of change and approach to achieve meaningful impact.

"Firms have to run their own race to make this meaningful because if they don’t they’re going to run out of steam, box themselves into a pace that is not real and can’t sustain. Ultimately, when [firms] set on this journey, they have to look at what benchmarks they are setting for themselves and why," Mr Andrade said.

Mr Andrade is dedicated to initiatives that aim to weave diversity into an authentic firm culture. He said that that active listening was key to the way businesses and workplaces engaged with their people to realise meaningful change.

"We really have to be strong listeners, which requires good silence but also requires good questions to be asked of people to ensure that they’re engaged and are giving you the information to make the changes you need to make in a meaningful way – so it’s not token, it’s meaningful," Mr Andrade said.