How The Variety Motion Is Serving to Authorized Organizations Leverage DEI Rules To Unlock Enterprise Excellence

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“The motion is a rhythm to us / Freedom is like faith to us / Justice is juxtapositionin’ us / Justice for all simply ain’t particular sufficient.” Widespread

Previously few quarters, I’ve teamed up with The Variety Motion (TDM) on variety, fairness, and inclusion (DEI) programming for The Society for Variety, Duke College, Blue Cross and Blue Protect of North Carolina, and Morrisville and Durham Chamber of Commerce occasions.

TDM supplies the instruments, strategies, and views that companies must spark lasting tradition change and evolve into extra various, equitable, and inclusive organizations. It additionally helps its purchasers shift particular person habits, so these people can type high-performing groups that ship higher enterprise outcomes.

This week, I had the chance to meet up with Jamie Ousterout, licensed variety government and head of consumer providers at TDM. She helps purchasers transfer ahead and take motion on their variety, fairness, and inclusion journeys. Jamie has served purchasers throughout numerous industries, together with authorized, healthcare, pharmaceutical, monetary, know-how, and non-profit. She is an alum of Cornell College in 2009 with a bachelor of arts in English and historical past.

I’ve realized a ton over the past yr from TDM and through this week’s dialog with Jamie. For authorized organizations and legislation corporations taking a 2021 stock of their human capital and aiming to enhance variety amongst their workforces in 2022, this can be the This autumn dialog you’ve been searching for. With out additional ado, here’s a (calmly edited and condensed) write-up of our dialog.

Renwei Chung (RC): What drew you to the sort of work?

Jamie Ousterout (JO): I’ve at all times had a need to assist create groups the place everybody feels welcome and included and to work with organizations to optimize their processes and procedures to allow them to higher serve their clients and communities. DEI is a pure extension of this work.

At The Variety Motion, we all know that DEI can assist unlock enterprise excellence — and my hope is that people will take what they study at work and produce it again to their buddies, households, and communities to create a world the place everybody feels protected and welcome.

RC: TDM has labored with authorized nonprofits like The American Well being Legislation Affiliation (AHLA) and legislation corporations like Bricker & Eckler. What have you ever realized about DEI points and alternatives at organizations like these?

JO: Legislation is such an necessary discipline that has a broad influence on our society. We’re very lucky to have the chance to work with each AHLA and Bricker & Eckler. In working with associations, and particularly with AHLA, there’s a distinctive alternative to have a broader influence throughout issues like healthcare fairness to assist create a greater world.

RC: Are there any points within the authorized business that you just’ve observed which might be distinctive to the occupation?

JO: I’ve noticed that our purchasers within the authorized occupation have extremely well-documented processes and procedures. The problem turns into making use of these processes and procedures constantly and equitably throughout the group.

RC: TDM and The AHLA have a case examine popping out later this month, are you able to inform us what this focuses on?

JO: We’re very proud to have labored with AHLA over the previous a number of months. AHLA has been on their DEI journey for a few years, however we helped bolster their journey by offering coaching — each in eLearning and digital codecs — in addition to doing a complete evaluation of their group.

One of many areas for enchancment that we recognized within the evaluation was round making a extra clear board nominating course of: one which mitigated unconscious bias and allowed the most effective candidates to be chosen for board service.

By working with AHLA workers and the nominating committee, we revised the nominations course of, which was not too long ago authorized by the board. You may view the forthcoming case examine at: We’re excited to proceed working with AHLA and different organizations within the legislation occupation.

RC: How can authorized organizations and legislation corporations assess their DEI competency?

JO: With all purchasers, we advise beginning with an organizational evaluation. This evaluation consists of surveys, listening periods, and a overview of processes and procedures.

Via the survey, we’re in a position to collect quantitative knowledge on the present state of DEI competency inside a company, and we’re in a position to acquire further, qualitative knowledge by way of listening periods — small group settings the place individuals are requested to share brazenly concerning the tradition of the group. This helps us set up a baseline for the group and perceive its distinctive points and challenges.

We are able to then recommend strategic targets and initiatives to deal with these points in a complete DEI motion plan. And importantly, we assist our purchasers monitor towards progress and assist maintain the group accountable.

RC: As we close to the tip of 2021, what steps can authorized organizations and legislation corporations take to make sure they’re fostering various and inclusive cultures?

JO: It’s crucial that various and inclusive cultures are championed by leaders throughout the group. Nevertheless, everybody can play a component in making a extra inclusive and welcoming tradition.

One easy means to do that is to acknowledge different voices on the desk and encourage their participation, to make use of inclusive language for different folks’s identities and backgrounds, and to supply boards for all folks to share their distinctive views and opinions.

RC: What else would you like folks to know about variety, fairness, and inclusion?

JO: Too typically, folks really feel that DEI might not apply to them. They assume it’s simply race or gender. They don’t perceive that inclusion includes everybody inside a company. Everybody brings a singular and priceless background, with a variety of views and experiences to assist us make higher selections.

Moreover, too many individuals fail to know that DEI is a steady follow. The purpose is to create a piece setting the place folks really feel comfy admitting when they’re unsuitable, could make errors, study to right them, and maintain shifting ahead. We attempt to follow this sort of tradition at The Variety Motion the place we emphasize progress over perfection with each other and with our purchasers.

RC: Do you’ve got some favourite or advisable assets for many who are enthusiastic about studying extra?

JO: The Variety Motion has a MicroVideo platform, which presents one-to-three-minute movies on numerous DEI matters to supply fast, studying moments for all busy professionals. This platform is on the market at no cost as a beta program by way of the tip of November 2021. My different favourite useful resource is our inclusive language information: Say This, Not That.

On behalf of everybody right here at Above the Legislation, I want to thank Jamie Ousterout for sharing her story with our viewers. We want her continued success all through her profession.

Renwei Chung is the Variety Columnist at Above the Legislation. You may contact him by electronic mail at, comply with him on Twitter (@fnfour), or join with him on LinkedIn

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