As diversity, equity, and inclusion becomes an increasingly important aspect of the larger Environmental Social, and Governance (ESG) movement, Ethisphere and ACC Foundation are delivering a unique resource for in-house counsel to assess maturity of their own DEI programs, and to define steps for improvement.

Scottsdale, AZ, March 30, 2022 – Ethisphere, the global leader in advancing ethical business practices, has partnered with the Association of Corporate Counsel’s foundation to integrate its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) maturity model into Ethisphere’s assessment platform. The solution will offer an efficient way for legal teams to understand where they currently stand with DEI, benchmark against peers, and leverage resources and guidance to map improvements.

Ethisphere Maturity Assessments deliver various assessments, advice, reporting, benchmarking, and other proprietary tools to help companies embed a cycle of measurement and improvement into areas of key corporate risk, such as compliance and social and governance programs. This collaboration with ACC Foundation — and in particular, the measurement of diversity, equity, and inclusion, aligns with Ethisphere’s broader commitment to DEI, including the Ethisphere Equity and Social Justice Initiative.

ACC Foundation’s DEI Maturity Model is a qualitative descriptive model that defines what it means for a target company to be in an early, intermediate, or advanced stage of maturity across three categories and 13 sub-categories. The foundation is now working with Ethisphere to develop a quantitative maturity scale of the model using the Ethisphere Maturity Assessments platform, which will allow legal departments to easily benchmark their practices to peers and will highlight potential areas of improvement.

Access to the ACC Foundation DEI maturity assessment will be free to anyone, but ACC members and members of the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) — an Ethisphere membership organization —will receive additional benchmarking analyses that include target scores, “red-flag” scores, and links to an advice library that includes additional observations, recommendations, and resources based on the Respondents’ maturity score.

This new assessment is scheduled to go live in late spring 2022. A session specifically devoted to the ACC Foundation DEI Maturity Model and assessment platform will be featured within the Ethisphere Solutions session series at this year’s Global Ethics Summit, Ethisphere’s annual event that showcases the best-in-class thought leadership in the ethics and compliance space. To learn more and register for the session, click here.

“Advancing DEI within your organization needs to be measurable if it is to be meaningful,” said Erica Salmon Byrne. Ethisphere President and BELA Chair. “By using the ACC Foundation’s DEI Maturity Model as the foundation for expanding our own assessment services, we are empowering organizations to set benchmarks and measure their progress against them when it comes to making a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.”

This is a major development for organizations seeking to quantify their DEI programs — which are becoming an increasingly important component of ESG reporting. DEI initiatives have been a particular challenge for corporate counsel, who often lack the tools to effectively measure the results of their own DEI programs.

“We are delighted to partner with Ethisphere to provide this innovative framework by which organizations can efficiently and effectively elevate their DEI agendas from words to action,” said ACC CEO and Foundation President Veta T. Richardson. “The more we can do to provide leaders with simple tools to assess their DEI agendas and expand them to become repeatable, scalable action plans with real results and expectations attached to them, the more progress we will make to create a truly equitable, diverse, and inclusive business environment.”

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About Ethisphere
Ethisphere® is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust, and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character and measure and improve culture. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program and provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA). https://ethisphere.com.

About the ACC Foundation
The ACC Foundation – a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – supports the efforts of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) to advance diversity and pro bono efforts within the in-house community. The ACC Foundation partners with corporations, law firms, legal service providers, and bar associations to assist in the furtherance of these goals.