Report Card on the Diversity of California’s Legal Profession

Hei-ock Kim

Having a diverse legal profession positively impacts the administration
of justice, ensures fairness, and promotes the rule of law. The mandate
to promote a diverse and inclusive legal profession is central to the State
Bar’s mission of public protection. The State Bar advances this aspect of its
mission in part by collecting, analyzing, and presenting data on California’s
licensed attorneys through an annual attorney census. This first annual
report card uses census data to provide a clear picture of the state of the
profession from a diversity and inclusion standpoint.
As the report card reflects, the profession has become increasingly
diverse in recent decades, with newly licensed attorneys better reflecting
California’s rich and varied demographics. However, much work remains.
The analyses below highlight areas of the legal profession where the
greatest opportunities for improvement exist. A Call to Action follows to
encourage employers and attorneys to influence and advance an inclusive
workplace that supports a more diverse workforce.

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Why Diversity Programs Fail

Hei-ock

The numbers sum it up. Your organization will become less diverse, not more, if you require managers to go to diversity training, try to regulate their hiring and promotion decisions, and put in a legalistic grievance system.

The very good news is that we know what does work—we just need to do more of it.

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FEMALE LABOR SUPPLY: WHY IS THE US FALLING BEHIND?

Hei-ock

In 1990, the US had the sixth highest female labor participation rate among 22 OECD countries. By
2010, its rank had fallen to 17th. We find that the expansion of “family-friendly” policies including
parental leave and part-time work entitlements in other OECD countries explains 28-29% of the decrease
in US women’s labor force participation relative to these other countries. However, these policies
also appear to encourage part-time work and employment in lower level positions: US women are
more likely than women in other countries to have full time jobs and to work as managers or professionals.

Woman in the Workplace 2019 Report Cover

Women in the Workplace 2019

Hei-ock

This year, 329 companies employing more than 13 million people shared their pipeline data or completed a survey of their HR practices. In addition, more than 68,500 employees were surveyed on their workplace experiences, and we interviewed women and men of different races and ethnicities, LGBTQ women and men, and women with disabilities at all levels in their organizations
for additional insights.

Our 2019 findings build on our data from the last four years, as well as similar research conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2012.

Woman in the Workplace 2018 Report Cover

Women in the Workplace 2018

Hei-ock

For the last four years, companies have reported that they are highly committed to gender diversity. But that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress.

Women continue to be vastly underrepresented at every level. For women of color, it’s even worse. Only about one in five senior leaders is a woman, and one in twenty-five is a woman of color.

Progress isn’t just slow—it’s stalled. And we know why.

Women in the Workplace 2016 Report Cover

Women in the Workplace 2016

Hei-ock

In corporate America, women fall behind early and continue to lose ground with every step

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The impact of Covid-19 on gender equality

Hei-ock

The economic downturn caused by the current Covid-19 outbreak has substantial implications for gender equality, both during the downturn and the subsequent recovery. Compared to ‘regular’ recessions, which affect men’s employment more severely than women’s employment, the employment drop related to social distancing measures has a large impact on sectors with high
female employment shares. In addition, closures of schools and daycare centers have massively increased child care needs, which has a particularly large impact on working mothers. The effects of the crisis on working mothers are likely to be persistent, due to high returns to experience in the labour market. Beyond the immediate crisis, there are opposing forces which may ultimately promote gender equality in the labour market.

The lending gap narrows for women business owners, but it’s still 31% less than for men

Hei-ock

CNBC March 7, 2019 By Rohit Arora Key Points The number of women-owned businesses that applied for funding in 2018 increased by 13 percent, according to an annual study of 30,000 companies nationwide by Biz2Credit. The Biz2Credit research found that the average size loan for women-owned businesses was 31 percent less than for male-owned businesses. Nearly 1 in 5 loan …

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Nonprofits Led by People of Color Win Less Grant Money With More Strings (Study)

Hei-ock

Organizations led by people of color win less grant money and are trusted less to make decisions about how to spend those funds than groups with white leaders, according to a new report by the consultancy Bridgespan and Echoing Green, an organization that invests in and provides support for leaders of emerging social enterprises.

The differences described in the report are sometimes stark. The authors analyzed three years of informational tax returns of 164 U.S. groups that were winners, finalists, or semifinalists in Echoing Green’s highly competitive fellowship program. They examined three years of funding data for each group that applied from 2012 to 2015 to determine funding levels and other available information. The authors found that white-led groups had budgets that were 24 percent larger than those led by people of color. It also found that groups led by black women received less money than those led by black men or white women.

McKinsey & Company

Women leaders, a competitive edge in and after the crisis

Hei-ock

This report provides a perspective on several levers that could raise the priority of gender diversity and increase the efforts to achieve it within organizations. The first one is to convince the skeptics of the benefits of having more women in top management: after all, there’s still a long way to go to persuade most executive boards and male business leaders of this. The second is to make gender diversity development a priority within organizations. The third lever is the most important for long-term effectiveness: implement appropriate programs. Based on our survey and our experience of companies that are highly committed to this issue, the success of gender diversity initiatives depends above all on deploying comprehensive programs that comprise a broad range of measures. It is not enough simply to provide more flexible working conditions or career management. Reaching a critical mass of women in the top management of organizations requires a critical mass of measures, if we want to create deep-seated and sustainable change.