Step 3 – ensure performance
What is governance?
Governance provides a framework for how decisions are made and where accountability ultimately lies. It's normally delivered through a board, committee or steering group.
Why is governance important?
Governance is important because it:
- unblocks barriers to progress by prioritising D&I
- provides ultimate accountability for meeting goals
- enables decisions to be made on risks and emerging issues, including when a change of direction or re-prioritisation is necessary
- ensures a long-term focus on D&I and ongoing learning and improvement
Actions to establish ongoing governance
This article explains why accountability is essential for performance, and it's created by involving leaders and managers in developing the D&I rationale, getting them to help solve D&I problems, listen and respond to feedback:
What is transparency?
Transparency is about being open and disclosing information about progress on D&I in a way that makes it easy for people to understand.
Why is transparency important?
Transparency is important because it helps ensure accountability and provides recognition. It embeds a ‘comply or explain’ approach, motivating people to act or explain why not.
Transparency recognises and brings to light where progress has been made and encourages efforts to continue.
Actions for effective transparency
To be effective, the information disclosed needs to be ‘salient, simple, and comparable’:
- Gender pay gap reporting: setting the standard for the profession
- D&I metrics and nudge questions for general counsel | General Counsel for Diversity & Inclusion
- Interlaw Diversity Forum's model diversity survey creates greater transparency around diversity, inclusion, and culture in law firms. It includes a dashboard developed by Microsoft to make the data accessible and useable
- The Mansfield Rule enables firms to track and certify that they have considered at least 30% women, lawyers from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, disabled lawyers and LGBT+ lawyers for top leadership roles, senior-level lateral hires, promotions into equity partnership and participation in client pitch meetings
What is recognition of D&I?
This means recognising efforts and behaviours that contribute towards D&I.
Recognition conveys that D&I is not just the responsibility of D&I specialists but is part of everybody’s everyday responsibility.
Why is recognition of D&I efforts important?
It's easy for the efforts and behaviours of colleagues outside of formal D&I roles (such as employee network groups, D&I champions or reverse mentors) to go unnoticed or to be considered a free resource.
There is a risk that career opportunities and experiences become hampered when people dedicate more of their time towards helping to drive D&I progress – and many will be from groups who are under-represented in the workforce and in senior roles.
Setting objectives and ensuring recognition for D&I activity, in the spirit of ‘you reward what you value’ is also more likely to get everyone involved.
Actions for D&I recognition
This factsheet identifies the importance of valuing employee networks and creating capacity for those involved in running them: