ACC and General Counsel Oath Survey: GC Report Mixed Progress Promoting DEI Practices
GC in larger organizations report stronger progress and majority of GC report they do not request their law firms to track KPIs, but those that do rated significantly higher progress in achieving DEI objectives.
Washington – The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), in partnership with the General Counsel Oath initiative, today released the “General Counsel Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Survey,” which outlines the impact and sentiment of general counsel (GC) and chief legal officers (CLOs) around DEI. Building on the ideals and values found in the GC Oath introduced by Simon Zinger in 2020 and endorsed by many leading global CLOs and legal organizations including ACC, this survey aims to provide an overview of how GC/CLOs around the world view DEI in the context of individual progress impacting DEI within their legal team, wider organizational progress, and progress made by law firms they work with on cultivating diverse teams.
A few key results from the survey include:
- GC are having greater success promoting DEI practices among their own teams, as opposed to being able to influence change across their wider organizations.
- GC are experiencing only moderate support and success promoting DEI progress in overall organizations.
- While the majority of GC currently do not request their law firms track advanced DEI KPIs, those that do observe significant headway in achieving DEI progress.
- While the strongest level of participation came from GC based in the United States, the responses show a high degree of global input, suggesting DEI topics remain top of mind in many parts of the world.
“It is encouraging to see that general counsel and chief legal officers are generally finding success in promoting DEI practices within their own departments,” said Veta T. Richardson, president & CEO of ACC. “Yet, despite the clear benefits and increased focus on DEI in recent years, that success doesn’t seem to be translating to organizations as a whole. While resources and bandwidth may differ, consistent and vocal leadership is critical to help move DEI practices forward regardless of an organization’s size or geography. ACC values the opportunity to work with Simon Zinger to take the pulse of chief legal officers globally on such an increasingly important topic and we appreciate his work to highlight these issues on an international scale in the legal community and beyond.”
“The impetus for launching this global survey was my desire to understand whether GC were making progress with their team and organizational commitments around DEI,” said Simon Zinger, GC of Entain plc, a FTSE-listed company. “Although many GC have identified with the General Counsel Oath, it felt important to ask GC around the world about their perceived levels of actual progress and to consider whether more could be done. This survey suggests areas where there is still work to do and encourages GC to continue playing leadership roles in progressing DEI inside their organizations.”
The GC DEI Survey was completed by 232 respondents spanning 28 countries around the world.
Organizations interested in benchmarking their DEI programs are encouraged to complete the ACC Foundation DEI Maturity Assessment, powered by Ethisphere. This innovative resource offers the methodology to evaluate DEI progress along a continuum of early to more advanced stage efforts using the framework of the acclaimed ACC Foundation DEI Maturity Model to complete an online assessment module, which allows organizations to quickly and easily benchmark their DE&I efforts to those of their peers and receive back a written self-assessment generated by the module for the organization’s internal review. This tool is offered as a free service by ACC and Ethisphere for use by the entire legal and business communities.
For more information about the GC DEI Survey (including a copy of the report), General Counsel Oath, or the ACC Foundation DEI Maturity Module and related DEI Maturity Assessment powered by Ethisphere, please contact Dan Weber at [email protected].
About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global legal association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through information, education, networking, and advocacy. With more than 45,000 members in 85 countries employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit www.acc.com and follow ACC on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.